Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Leader Loyalty - The Glue That Binds

Leader Loyalty - The Glue That Binds

By Richard Brooke

In today’s uncertain economy, we can no longer count on our government or employers to make decisions or fund programs that will see us through retirement. It is crucial now more than ever to build a Residual Royalty Income to secure our financial future. If built right, that income stream will survive our efforts and keep coming whether we are making it happen or not. That is the essence of the unique economic value Network Marketing offers.

But how do you create a Residual Royalty Income (RRI) you can count on over the long haul? In my experience, it comes down to developing leaders, then earning and keeping their loyalty.

Leaders Equal Residual Royalty Income
Regardless of your particular company’s compensation plan, building an RRI can be converted to a quantity of leaders in your organization. Instead of focusing on how much money you will earn, convert that income to how many leaders you need to achieve it. Creating and managing a plan to develop leaders is much easier than a plan to generate volume and/or income.

For example
Let’s say your goal is to earn $3,000 per month. Based on your comp plan, you know that can be achieved by developing three separate established legs with $20,000 total monthly volume. Your plan is to create three leaders, one in each leg.

A successful established leg is not created by looking at volume, or even the number of active distributors. It’s best defined by an organizational leader. Once you have a leader in the leg, that leader will establish the leg and grow it from there.

What Defines an Organizational Leader?

  1. They have a clear vision of what they intend to accomplish.
  2. They have created a project and a specific plan for its attainment.
  3. They are self-motivated by their vision and maintain their own enthusiasm, persistence, attitude, and most importantly, their actions.
  4. They produce their intended results.

Until you have someone who meets these four criteria, you do not have a leader. You may have a nice person who works hard and wants very much to be successful. You may even have someone who will do everything you ask. However, until they consistently produce from their own motivation, they cannot be counted on for leadership.

State Leadership as the Goal
In building my own network of over 30,000 distributors, I found it important to always express the goal in terms of leaders. Focusing on comp plan titles or an income level creates a shallow and often misguided approach to achieving the goal. It is possible in most companies to achieve a title, even without the leaders to sustain it. All it typically requires is a temporary stretch to get there. But often what is left is an empty shell of an organization and a monthly check that is unpredictable and unreliable.

Instead of true Residual Royalty Income, what you have created is “out of integrity” in relation to your goal. And that leaves you powerless—with little energy or enthusiasm. Frustration begins to brew … and it’s all downhill from there.

Instead of leadership taking a backseat to your title and income objectives, make it a by-product of your goal. When you focus on developing yourself as a powerful leader, you will attract powerful leaders to your organization.

Earning and Keeping Leader Loyalty
To build true Residual Royalty Income, your network must “take the lickings and keep on ticking.” You need your troops to keep using, recommending and sponsoring every month—no matter what. The key to accomplishing this lies with your leaders.

Entire networks of distributors stay involved through thick and thin, based on how connected they are to their upline leaders. Leadership and relationships are the glue that holds the organization together.

Keeping leaders is tough. By their very nature, a leader often needs more than we have to give. They are looking for their next challenge or frontier; for the place where they can be the leader. Leaders have strong opinions, and often the ego to match. It’s easier to fight with one of your leaders than anyone else in your network. This can lead to hurt feelings … and even parting company.

So how do you earn and keep leader loyalty, and not die in the process?

Here are some practical actions and attitudes I have found to be effective:

Confide in your leaders
Perhaps not everything, but share with them a little more than you are comfortable with; especially with regard to issues they feel a strong need to know.

Exceed their expectations
Do more for your leaders than they expect you to do.

Tell your leaders the truth
Don’t “spin.” They are your partners; lay it all out and ask for their partnership, leadership and loyalty.

Maintain your integrity
Don’t speak one set of values and live another. Leaders see through this, and it erodes their confidence and loyalty.

Keep your long-range vision alive for them
Make sure they know they have a strong place in that vision. What’s in it for them, long term?

Maintain the integrity of your leadership group
Weed out those who don’t meet the standards. Keep the bar high and in line with your spoken values; challenge your leaders to live up to it.

Let your leaders walk in your shoes
Give them opportunities to lead in areas you normally do. They will see challenges from a new perspective and respect you more in the process.

Love, respect and believe in your leaders
Honor their uniqueness and accept their imperfections. Like everyone, leaders are looking for a safe place to be themselves.

Play all out with your leaders
Playing together builds stronger bonds and breaks down barriers. It encourages authenticity and friendship. Play is powerful, especially when enjoyed more often than is usual.

Listen, listen, listen
Turn off your opinions and listen with your heart and mind. Let your leaders know they are heard—maybe not agreed with, but certainly heard.

When your focus is on finding and developing leaders in this fashion, what you will build are lasting friendships, loyal partnerships and a true Residual Royalty Income that you can count on to secure your future.

Listen to my interview with Art Jonak, Advanced Leadership: It Starts With You,” for more tips, strategies and ideas.

– Richard

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