Tag Archives: leadership

The powerful ear

Systems aren’t perfect, things break, and websites need fixing.

Those things happen in every company, occasionally.

But where do you complain about the flaws?

On your personal social media? In a distributors-only forum? With the home office department that takes responsibility for implementing changes?

All three speak to powerful people.

The first avenue speaks to the public: the ones who were part of your company or who have yet to join. They might hear an unspoken message of, “This doesn’t work, we’re a so-called ‘hot mess,’ get back to us after we’ve figured out this crisis.” You run the risk of reinforcing any existing stereotypical negative images of your company and profession. In this case you’re impacting the long-term future of the company in a negative way.

The second avenue speaks to the distributors in your company, and the most tender ears there are the newbies. Their responses will likely be more extreme than the seasoned distributors. You run the risk of scaring them away because of your momentary frustration. In this case you’re negatively impacting the immediate and short term growth of the company.

The last avenue speaks to the people who can fix the problem. I know they prefer when people report the cause-and-effect chain of events instead of using inflammatory words to merely complain about it. Like the first avenue, you’re impacting the long-term future of the company. Only these ears are the ones who can implement a solution. So the effect is positive.

Long-term positive wins my vote every day.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

P.S. Leaders: Your clients and distributors should be told about known pitfalls they are likely to encounter. But how can you tell if you are informing versus complaining? See if you agree with my definitions.

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #thepowerfulear #leveragedsales #networkmarketing #mlm #directsales #partyplan #mindset #leadership

 

 

Advertisements

Whom should I tell?

Imagine your company’s web site botched your end-of-week order. You feel angry and frustrated. You have the urge to TELL SOMEONE.

The biggest question to ask yourself is, “Is this complaining, informing, or working toward a solution?”

Complaining: This awful thing is happening! It isn’t fair! Why didn’t someone anticipate this?? (Said with the intent to broadcast far and wide in order to – consciously or not – garner sympathy or stir outrage)

Informing: The website is not functioning correctly. Here’s what to expect and how to work around the issue. (said in a more focused and non-inflammatory way, concentrating on channels used by current users of the site)

Working toward a solution: Hello, I’m using the ABC feature, and when I do DEF, it does UVW. I would like it to do XYZ. (a private and calmly-worded communication from you to the Information Technology department, using details and sequences of events)

The more your communication is private, calm, and feature-focused, the more likely it is to be working toward a solution.

It’s true other distributors should know any pressing issues (relative to their experience level and likelihood of encountering them). However, take care that you are informing them instead of merely stirring up emotions.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #whomshoulditell #complaining #informing #workingtowardasolution #partyplan #directsales #distributors #mlm #networkmarketing #leveragedsales

Are you stealing?

You may have heard this advice.

Comparison is the thief of joy.        –Theodore Roosevelt

Some sponsors tell this to their distributors, to keep the newbies from feeling depressed about “not moving fast enough in the business.”

(I have even heard top 10% income earners in several businesses make the same complaint about their personal enrollment and personal customer gathering efforts. It’s a common feeling of frustration.)

So, you may have given this advice to your team… but do you follow it?

Before you answer, there’s an angle you might not have considered…

Let me explain with a story.

It was my first network marketing company. I had to build the confidence and skills from scratch. It took me more than a year to gather my first 20 customers. I asked certainly more than 100 people, including all my relatives who had households of their own or ran a household. (This was a one-per-household type of product.) I persevered through a lot of outright no’s, a large helping of promises-not-fulfilled, and plenty of brush-offs.

I attended the Wednesday evening business presentation and Saturday training every week for the entire time. As I got closer and closer to the magic 20, the company started bringing the newly-accomplished distributors to the front of the presentation room each week, to shower them with praise for completing this milestone during the past seven days.

It gave me the fuel to work even harder to finish.

Then came that awesome day when I did. I jumped around excitedly in our apartment and took special care with how I dressed for that next presentation meeting, prepared to be brought to stage with the other distributors who accomplished the goal during the past 7 days.

With a huge grin on my face, I showed up early and reported to the stage manager with the other smiling faces.

“I gathered my first 20 customers!”

“Great! What’s your name?” he asked, slightly hunched as he wrote the pertinent information on a palm-sized folded paper with his ballpoint pen.

“How long did it take?” as he lifted his head a little, locking eyes with me with a smile and an expectant look on his face.

I told him.

He took the pen away from the paper and stood straight up. His smile of excitement fell off. And what he said took away mine.

In a slightly condescending manner he said in a low voice, “Accomplishing the goal should be reward enough.”

Now I felt confused. “But, you announce the distributors every week, and I accomplished the goal, just like they did  (and I thought, ‘just like the other people standing here who are hearing this’).”

He said in a much firmer voice, “Accomplishing the goal should be reward enough.” And then he turned to the next person, effectively dismissing me.

Color me mad.

He was the highest ranked distributor in the room and was in charge of the meeting. There was no one else to appeal to.

When time came to congratulate the newest batch of 20-customer-gatherers, I graciously applauded for them.

But I sat there thinking, the way I was treated was “How NOT to be a leader in network marketing.”… and I promised to remember how I felt, to use this lesson to guide me when I became a leader.

It also made me wonder: What other goals in this company will be highly praised for some but brushed off for others reaching the same milestone?

Let’s talk about how this lesson applies more than 15 years later.

When a new (or seasoned) distributor has not reached a goal, do you directly or indirectly scold them for “moving slowly?”

Do you compare people in a destructive way, saying things like “If you were serious about the business, you would already have accomplished ____________. So-and-So has (no network marketing experience, 9 children, 3 full-time jobs, only 5 minutes a week to work the business, etc.) and THEY already did it!!”

Don’t steal a distributor’s joy of progress.

Much like how we don’t criticize children by harshly comparing the beginning violin student’s squeaky bow work with the smooth mellow tones of the child prodigy. The fact that the personal milestone was reached, the skill was increased and a definite improvement noticed, is reason enough to celebrate. A newbie gathering their first 5 customers IS, I repeat IS, a big deal. Even if it took them 6 months and you did it in 6 hours.

Now let’s talk about the more typical goals of our profession: the customer gathering tally, rank advancement, team volume level.

No matter how long it takes your distributor to accomplish the goal, please celebrate it with as much enthusiasm and pride as you do for the fastest moving distributors on your team: One-to-one and in team meetings. With their permission…on their social media page.

Reaching the destination is what matters. Not the speed, not the flash.

Sure, you might make a bigger splash about the people who reach the goals super-fast. Those might be the people to whom you give a speaking role at the regional meetings and company conventions.

I’m not suggesting you give the equivalent of “participation trophies.” Just don’t make the mistake of making only a private, lukewarm acknowledgement ( or a brush-off) to the ones who move slowly. Such a reaction gives the impression you are dissatisfied with their actions.

The distributor is looking to you, the leader, to demonstrate expected response of leaders in YOUR business. They are asking themselves,

“This is how I feel. Am I being

Respected?

Appreciated?

And Rewarded Appropriately

for accomplishing this goal?”

Such a seemingly dissatisfied reaction from the person they look up to (you!) collides with their newly-won sense of pride. Your comparison, through what you omit, has the strong potential to steal their joy.

Distributors will notice when you seem embarrassed by them … and don’t be surprised if they leave for a team, a leader, a company that celebrates their success.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

P.S. I went on to gather more than 100 personal customers with that company.

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #trsc #areyoustealing #joy #volume #goals #participationtrophy #rankadvancement #leveragedsales #networkmarketing #partyplan #directsales #mlm

First applause

One of my colleagues achieved her first rank advancement a few days ago.

In her 5+ years with this company, I have witnessed her ongoing heartfelt praise and use of our products. She gathered many customers and uses the products herself on a daily basis.

Her journey to this point has been challenging. She handled many overlapping episodes of family emergencies that required her focus, a yearlong marketing project known well in her own county, and several private struggles. For more than 3 years she marketed her business in a weekly business referrals group that has mandatory attendance rules. She has excellent communication and presentation skills. And finally her business has acquired the necessary number of distributors in the necessary arrangement and the required sales volume.

She paused when necessary, yet she never quit.

That’s why we are excited as we wait for the weekly announcements of the new rank advancements. She will receive an individual post praising her accomplishment, including her photo in a meme and a unique message (not just changing the name) from the vice president of field operations. (She will also receive a mailed physical certificate and lapel pin in the coming weeks.)

It’s her first company-wide applause from the corporate office.

It’s a big deal.

What is your company’s procedure for a PUBLIC acknowledgment of the first rank advancement? Do they provide sharable social media announcements as well as tangible “bling?” Do they honor such people at your annual convention?

What do you do for your team members when they rank advance? Do you give a speedy acknowledgement (perhaps a text, Message, or social media post)? Do you treat slow accomplishments with as much respect and fanfare as achievements by fast-moving distributors for achieving the same rank?

Bear in mind many people don’t advance quickly. Don’t act embarrassed by how long it takes someone to rank-advance. Instead, create a culture of loud and immediate acknowledgement. Your future team members are watching and asking themselves, If I put in the time and effort at a speed that works for me, will I receive the same respect?

The “unicorns” will always get their praise. Those who move quickly or dramatically are readily acknowledged. Many distributors dream of being a unicorn in their company, but many remain merely human. Be sure to give them the same respect as everyone else who achieved the rank.

As a leader, I feel the first rank advancement should be a HUGE deal, regardless of how long it takes to achieve it. As the saying goes, “What is rewarded is repeated.”

Care more about the rank advancement than the speed of its acquisition.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #leveragedsales #networkmarketing #partyplan #mlm #residual #residualincome #firstapplause #rankadvance

Echo and Praise

Do you pay more attention to someone’s rank than the quality of their ideas?

This week I challenge you to pay close attention to people in your company who have an equal or lower rank than you.

Listen for an idea that can improve the company in a meaningful way.

Or for an idea that helps the lower-ranked people get promoted faster or eliminates a frustrating bureaucracy step for them.

Then use your star power.

Echo the idea and praise them by name on social media.

(You might choose to do this within your company’s distributor discussion group.)

Use the “Share” feature or copy-and-paste their words. Tag them in the post, or at least mention them by first and last name.

Even if your influence is at a peer-level, you are helping their idea gain traction.

Show them that you’re listening, you use the power you have to get good ideas heard, AND you give the credit to the creator.

That’s what great leaders do.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

P.S. On Facebook, writing a comment on a post gives it a higher priority in the Newsfeed than a quick click of Like or Love. So when you see a good idea, take 10 seconds to write a comment. Even a quick “good idea!” comment can help their idea gain traction.

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #echoandpraise #leadership #facebook #leaders #networkmarketing #mlm #residualincome

Fear, tension, and success

I was inspired by a recent post by thought leader Seth Godin regarding fear and tension.

He talks about fear as a fast and easy way to create obedience.

In comparison, Seth describes tension as the process of questioning and taking a leap of faith: Will this work? Who will I become if I succeed? And, more importantly, how tension is required in learning a new skill.

“The tension we face any time we’re about to cross a threshhold.”  I adore that observation.

Fear and tension play a large role in our network marketing businesses, too. Each has its place in the business journey.

The fear of missing out. The fear of what would happen if you lost your job. The fear of a mid-life crisis confronting the “waste” of many productive work years.

Many times we independent representatives present our businesses as the solution to all three.

Sometimes fear is the kick in the pants that people need to take that leap and join your team.

But fear can backfire, too. The trainer at the front of the room who says “bring a guest or don’t show up next time.” The sponsor who berates the rep with, “You should be working harder.” Fear’s motto is “My way or the highway.”

I think of fear as a sharp stick. You’ll get an immediate reaction, typically a visceral one of pain, when you use it. Some so-called leaders get a thrill out of that dynamic. But you’re thrusting that stick… and many people move aside or back away to avoid it… eventually.

In a confined environment such as a job or within the military, the stick can be a powerful motivator. But not so much with a “volunteer army” situation like network marketing.

Representatives in your organization don’t have to sit in the audience at your meeting. They don’t have to move at the speed you want. They can continue representing the company until they decide to resign, or the corporate compliance department boots them out for violations of Policies and Procedures.

On the other hand we have the rubber band of tension.

Who we are as a company and where we’re headed. (and you can join us on the journey). Imagining oneself receiving phone calls and congratulations for attaining the next rank. Encouragement by increasing the newbie’s confidence. The leader dumps her knowledge into the other person’s brain, as many times as it takes, and gives pep talks along the way. It’s typically a slower process.

I visualize the effect of tension as a strong rubber band, stretching and relaxing. I step one pace along the journey, and the band stretches. Then you step toward me, and the band goes limp again. Repeat.

Fear: You should be like me. You need to do it. But I won’t let you be better than me. And I will keep you at arm’s length to protect myself.

Tension: You could be like me. You can do it. I will applaud when you surpass me. Here, take my hand and let me assist you.

Each distributor requires a unique blend of fear and tension along the journey. Be aware of which technique you’re using.

And remember, fear creates pain and an initial shove, while tension creates trust and a long-lasting bonded team.

Choose wisely.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #TheRocketScienceCoach #networkmarketing #partyplan #directsales #residualincome #leadership #fear #tension #volunteerarmy

 

 

What is your legacy?

Legacy is about making others feel known and important. It’s not in the recognition, it’s in the recognizing. It’s not in the big, it’s in the small.   –the late Patricia Summitt, head coach of the Lady Vols basketball team at University of Tennessee

It’s easy to recognize the big efforts done in public view by the popular members of the team.

In contrast, how much time do you spend personally thanking the “hidden leaders” on your team– the ones who quietly do the non-glamorous jobs to make events run smoothly? Putting them on stage during awards ceremonies? Mentioning their efforts during your conference calls or in your monthly email newsletter?

Those seemingly small gestures are the seeds.

Legacy is not what you leave behind, it’s what you plant.

-LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #legacy #whatisyourlegacy #mlm #networkmarketing #partyplan #patriciasummitt