Tag Archives: boundaries

Did a jerk slip in?

One of my college friends interviewed for an upper-management job in “corporate America” three years ago. She is a Materials Science Engineer and is a person of high integrity.

She described the rigorous interview process for the position. Resume. Phone screening. More than one trip for in-person interviews. And a battery of psychological testing, whose descriptions I was intrigued to hear.

I joked, “It sounds like they want to make sure you’re not Dr. Evil.”

(I know she’s not… I roomed with her at Purdue!  By the way, “Dr. Evil” is a fictional character bent on taking over the world in one of the “Austin Powers” movies.)

It turns out my humorous description had a basis in reality…

Corporate analysts have learned the hard way the damage a single narcissist or psychopathic person can cause. Only one bad apple, especially in upper management, can poison a working environment, causing people to quit and profits to plummet as morale takes a dive and productivity declines.

Hence the rigorous screening for upper-level managers.

My friend passed the screening with flying colors and is happily doing an excellent job for that corporation.

In Network Marketing, MLM, Party Plan, and Direct Sales companies, we don’t have that type of shield against destructive personalities. As you likely know, any adult citizen in a country open for business can lay down the startup costs and launch their distributorship. And the people who build the biggest teams & sales automatically receive the ranks and privileges thereof, including a powerful microphone and leadership aura. Yes, a distributor can be terminated from a company for violation of the policies and procedures, but they have to be caught… and the higher-level management must be willing to boot out a distributor whose team likely creates a significant income stream to the corporate office.

(Can you tell I’ve seen a few of these destructive personalities in the industry? Thank goodness our company seems to attract positive minded people and repel the bad apples. I’m pretty sure that is due to the product itself, which focuses on appreciation.)

So it pays to be aware of the signals of those types of destructive folks. Thought Leader Seth Godin calls them “jerks”… take a look at his list of leadership jerk qualities. In our MLM profession I can add “seems to jump from company to company quite often… as soon as their ugly side becomes obvious and the distributors wise up.”  (Please note, people who leave a company and join a new one do not necessarily have destructive personalities!)

Let the knowledge be your guide about whose advice you follow… and whom you recommend your team listens to.

Your long-term financial future depends on it.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #lynnselwaTRSC #TheRocketScienceCoach #mlm #networkmarketing #directsales #partyplan #destructivepersonalities #narcissist #psychopath #didajerkslipin

All Glory, No Grunt.

Shows up late, if at all, to set up the tables and chairs for a training session not held at their house.
Disappears when it’s time to clean up.

Falsely insinuates or outright fakes receiving an award, higher rank, or close friendship with a company icon.

Charming, overly confident, and sucks up all the oxygen in the room.

As leaders of our teams, we should be ever-watchful for these behaviors.

Is anyone coming to mind?

Touts for a large expenditure of money or time, claims “I’m a big supporter,” but never contributes the funds nor more-than-minimal effort.

Dominates the speaking time when teamed with another person or during panel discussions. Other speakers have to interject, “Can I add something here?” just to get their own opinion briefly heard.

Only praises the people who are quickly rank-advancing.

These are warning signs.

Is your organization being hijacked by someone like this?

Not a respectful listener.

Somehow, in every conversation or presentation, they and their situation become the center of attention.

Only willing to learn from people of higher rank. Not open to wisdom nor insights from people holding lower ranks, even when they are instructors at a company event… instead, you will see this person chatting in the back of the room or their face is bathed in the bright bluish light of their smartphone’s social media apps.

These behaviors diminish morale.

Do you see these destructive so-called “leaders” in your organization?

Makes an “appearance” at events when the top field leaders or corporate officers come to town, but can’t be bothered to attend the local ongoing presentations and trainings.

Rarely verbally supports another person’s idea with “Great idea, Kerry!”

Takes an idea overheard in a conversation and presents it to the group as their own.

Makes comparisons of speed or rank to their guests in ways that are meant to be slyly insulting… typically right in front of your face, so you look unprofessional if you lose your composure or contradict them.

I have seen each of these behaviors throughout my nearly 20 years in the network marketing profession. All of those observations have fostered a sharpened “jerk radar” in my brain.

I can name a specific person for each example, but I will hold my silence. Through their actions they taught me “how not to be a leader.” And nowadays it’s easy for me to spot the “bad apples”… and quickly identify the leaders worth following.

Please know the distributors who act in the described fashion may have good intentions, but their actions are poisonous to creating a supportive and encouraging environment.

Be willing to peel past the shiny skin-deep facade of even the highest-advanced distributors in your company. A few human-nature blemishes are fine, but a rotten core will chase people out of your team.

In the end, don’t be “That Guy” or “That Woman.”

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #lynnselwaTRSC #TheRocketScienceCoach #networkmarketing #directsales #residualincome #entrepreneurship #leadership #smartphone #app #allglorynogrunt #destructiveleadership #poisonousleadership #hownottobealeader #dontbethatguy

Do you take time to celebrate?

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day (March 17). Here in the USA, we say, “Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.”

By 5pm I had many unfinished items on my business “To-Do” list . So it was decision-time.

Should I stay and complete the tasks?

I chose to go to the party.

Does that make me quote “uncommitted” to my business?


Choosing to have fun is important. I learned many years ago that there is ALWAYS something more to do in a direct sales or network marketing business.

Had I completed all the scheduled or promised business calls or meetings? Yes.

I learned from personal experience if I follow through with a promised reward or a scheduled fun outing, I will be more willing to work during work hours. And procrastinating the reward leads to procrastinating in business. These insights are similar to findings in research by Dr. Carol McCall and Dr. Kelly McGonigal, experts in effective listening and willpower, respectively.

One of the multimillondollar MLM earners who coaches me once said, “You will be more motivated when you SCHEDULE your fun. You always need to have something to look forward to.”

I had been looking forward to this get-together for weeks. So I went.

(and residual income continued to flow into my bank account during the event.)

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #lynnselwaTRSC #TheRocketScienceCoach #mlm #networkmarketing #directsales #residualincome #StPatricksDay #decision #committed #drcarolmcall #drkellymcgonigal

Twice as long

“Tell me what it is!”

Those are words that can lead into the Valley Of Death… where you explain, and they interrupt, and you try to answer that question… and your potential distributor becomes frustrated.

In our company we teach people to book an appointment and use third-party-validation to explain the details.

Third-party-validation means a source (someone or something) OTHER THAN YOU. For example: apps, videos, teleconference training calls, tear sheets, card decks, 3-way calls, or 24 hour recorded voicemail messages.

Here is the magic phrase: “It would take me twice as long to explain it than to simply __(watch the video)___.”

People like to be in control… but even more importantly, they don’t want their time wasted!

(and people also like “simple” steps. Use “simply” instead of “just.”)

This is a respectful way to let your potential distributor back down and begin to follow your process.

Plus you are establishing your leadership by setting that boundary.

If they won’t follow your presentation process, they are not coachable… and would you really want them on your team?

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #lynnselwaTRSC #TheRocketScienceCoach #networkmarketing #directsales #residualincome #residuals #valleyofdeath #twiceaslong #thirdparty #thirdpartyvalidation #presentation #leadership #mindset

The untested laughter

A few months ago  my husband and I attended a stock-trading seminar.

We sat in the front row. (I’m a “front row” type of person. Good thing, because the scheduler squeezed us into that session, and those were the only empty chairs.)

Along with the technical knowledge our instructor was explaining, he touched on something most of my classmates found amusing.

In fact, nearly everyone in the room started laughing with disbelief, jeering the instructor’s startling comments. Meanwhile my husband and I sat silently, nodding our heads in agreement with the instructor.

What did he say?

He looked at the classroom with a grave expression on his face. “When the market conditions line up with your trading plan, many of you won’t place the trade. Why? Because people let their fear get in the way. For this reason we have a psychologist on staff, to help people through that hesitancy.”

I was impressed with the instructor, who stayed calm while most of his students were obviously of a differing opinion. He did gently insist that scenario happens, and it can be a huge block to their success.

Also, I was intrigued. That hesitation sounds similar to what many potential distributors experience.

I leaned over to whisper in my husband’s right ear: “The strongest mind wins.”

He agreed.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #lynnselwaTRSC #TheRocketScienceCoach

#networkmarketing #mlm #directsales #residualincome

#stocktrading #TheUntestedLaughter

Remember to excel

Yesterday a colleague in my network marketing company posted a meme she found.

I was reading the list of statements in the meme, and my eyes slammed to a halt when I saw this:

“I choose … to excel, not compete.”

How often do we compare our imperfect progress to others’ polished results?

For me, this is an ongoing challenge. I have been highly competitive all my life. Perhaps that is a natural outgrowth of having two brothers, no sisters, and being the middle child.

In any case, the phrase was a timely reminder to gauge my own progress against my past, not against a projected future laced with milestones of what others have accomplished.

And I’m passing the suggestion to you.

Take pride in what you have accomplished. Skip the shame about what you “should” or “could.” And keep becoming the best you can be.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #lynnselwaTRSC #TheRocketScienceCoach

#networkmarketing #mlm #RememberToExcel

the messenger

I don’t care what type of car you drive, where you live, or how much money you have made with this company.

I’m intrigued by the short explanation you gave me, and I’m meeting with you to learn more.

Do *I* see huge potential here? That is the burning question.

No matter how much you have made, my friends and I will do better.

You are just the messenger.

That is the mindset of a confident businessperson.

So, present yourself the best you can within your means. Wear clean and neat clothes, get your hair cut regularly, wash the car when it needs it.

The “right” people will appreciate your pride in presenting your person the best you can and will be grateful that you approached them. And they will make their decision based on their own evaluation of your company presentation, not on the brand of shoes you wear.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #lynnselwaTRSC #TheRocketScienceCoach

#TheMessenger #networkmarketing #confidence

This Is A Long Overdue ( ) For ( )

When you fall out of touch, neglect to send that promised email, or forget to post on your blog while traveling for your network marketing company’s convention <sheepish grin> …

How do you get back in touch?

When this happens to me, I  feel disappointed and embarrassed. There doesn’t seem to be a good time to get re-engaged, and the longer I wait the worse I feel.

Here is one solution.

The President of one of the largest Chambers of Commerce in the United States taught me this magic phrase:

“This is a long-overdue (       ) to (      ).”

As in, “This is a long-overdue phone call to see what questions you have regarding your account.”

Or, “This is a long-overdue email to share the details of the next networking meeting.”

And for me, “This is a long-overdue blog entry to apologize for my absence and to teach you a powerful technique.”

As I advised a friend on Facebook this week: “Everyone messes up. Your character is revealed by how you handle it.”

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach”

#lynnselwa #lynnselwaTRSC #TheRocketScienceCoach #networkmarketing #ThisIsALongOverdue #messingup #chamberofcommerce

I’ve fallen and I CAN get up!

Handling shame, vulnerability, and living in authenticity are topics we encounter each day as Network Marketing Professionals. Sometimes the people we thought we could count on to encourage us… end up being the most hurtful.

This week I had the pleasure of participating in a live Question and Answer forum with author Dr. Brene Brown, a research professor at The University of Houston studying vulnerability, courage, shame, and authenticity. www.brenebrown.com

Did you watch her video? Brené’s 2010 TEDx Houston talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world, with over 19 million viewers.

I devoured her 2012 book “Daring Greatly” and am looking forward to digging into her brand-new “Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.”

“Rising Strong” tackles an important question: how do people get RE-started after encountering a hurtful comment… or a harsh lesson from life?

From other sources I have learned that people with high IQ tend to ruminate about mistakes or insults… spending lots of time wondering WHY things went wrong. Or WHAT they did wrong. And replaying the scene many times.

Does that sound like you?

Well, I know it sounds like me. And I encounter that same phenomenon in people I coach in network marketing. So I want tools to help me guide people out of that depressive spiral.

During the Q&A, this is what I asked.

LYnn: Among my professional responsibilities is the informal coaching of colleagues who approach me for advice. Many of their struggles contain stories about handling hurtful comments about their “failures” coming from their family, friends, or business acquaintances. What is an effective way to use your research to help them?

Dr. Brene Brown: I think the Living BIG chapter in Rising Strong could be very helpful and the shame chapter in Daring Greatly!

Rocket Science Coaching Fans, if you have not read those two books, I highly recommend you  do!

and now it’s time to savor my copy of Rising Strong, which arrived in the mail this afternoon…

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #lynnselwaTRSC #TheRocketScienceCoach #brenebrown #daringgreatly #risingstrong #networkmarketing #residualincome #NetworkMarketingProfessional

The Line in the Sand (or, How to handle your business during vacation)

This week I was advising a distributor about her annual vacation. We were discussing how she would handle texts, social media, emails, and phone calls during her upcoming vacation.

Here are some questions she and I considered.

Do you take time off from your business? (I certainly hope you do!)

How often and for what duration?

Do you set an autoresponse message for your email and an outgoing message for your voicemail, stating you are unavailable? Do you state you will be unavailable more days than you will actually be gone, such as your last packing day and a day or two to unpack afterward?

Do your automated responses include “I am out of the office”? How do you handle this if you work from your home? (In my opinion it’s not wise to announce you are not home!)

Do you announce that you will (or simply quietly plan to) respond to messages during your absence? How often? (“once a day”, at a certain time each day, on Wednesday only, etc)

Do you provide a phone number for assistance? Two ideas are your company’s main customer service center and a distributor with whom you have arranged to handle issues in your absence.

Will you post on social media? Will you use a scheduling service to post at certain times with prearranged content? Will you check social media during your time off?

How will you handle communication from your current clients and team members?

Think about the opportunity and training meetings, social media gatherings, and conference calls you attend or host to support your team. Will you dial in or attend via technology? Have a substitute attend for you?

Will you take marketing tools (such as business cards and product samples) with you? Here’s another option: if the subject of your business comes up, will you get a person’s phone number/email and contact/send samples after you get home?

This is not an exhaustive list of ideas, and the answers will vary for each person and each event. The degree of separation from one’s business can depend on how new the business is, if there are any “hot” issues or potential distributors who are close to joining, if there are brand-new distributors to mentor, and how strongly one needs time away from the normal business activities.

One of the joys of network marketing is its residual income. And one of the disciplines is taking sufficient time away to renew oneself.

In the end, ask yourself, “Will this decision give me the degree of relaxation and rest I know I need?”

— LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #lynnselwaTRSC #TheRocketScienceCoach #networkmarketing #residualincome #vacation #boundaries #autoresponder #TheLineInTheSand