Leadership In Network Marketing: The Art Of Pulling Vs. Pushing
As a network marketing leader, I get a lot of feedback from my downline about people who fail to step up. This led me to question whether the issue was with the leader or the follower.
A leader who has a relationship with a group of people such as a department manager, a drill sergeant or a sports coach often asks for "volunteers" from their team to do something beyond what is expected from the leader.
How the group reacts to the request for volunteers says a lot about the leader and the followers. A leader who does not command respect may not get any response. A great leader however, will get the entire group to volunteer.
Great networking leaders will know what the response will be from a well managed team. One way to find this out is to ask them to go beyond what is expected of them and observing their behavior.
Testing your team in this way (asking for volunteers) can also be called "separating the men from the boys" or "the wheat from the chafe", or "the cream will rise to the top", etc. A leader must therefore test their team, observe and learn.
Not only is a lot of information revealed about the motivations and drive among the team, but the degree of respect for the leader can also be revealed.
Those who volunteer go into the "pull" group; those who resist volunteering go into the "push" group. You can "lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink". You have heard this many times. The point is obvious that one must decide they want to do something on their own.
Forcing someone to do something for which they do not having a burning desire is like pushing someone to do something against their will. They must possess the inner drive, the momentum so that you need only pull them along as a leader.
If you are a follower at the moment, examine how you react when your leader asks you to do something. Do they test you in any way? How do you react?
Do you feel resistance when they ask you to do something? Be careful not to be quick to put blame on the leader for failing to be an "effective" leader.
This could be a sabotage maneuver on your part. Perhaps you are not willing to go the extra mile to achieve your goals. Perhaps you are more aligned with the "idea" of having your own business rather than achieving it.
The actual achieving it would require you to change in some way and that it where many people get stuck. This is where leadership comes into play.
The effective leader can see the follower resisting. They know the feelings of being stuck. They can craft a game plan for the person and encourage them to create momentum so they can guide them along the path and pull them towards their goal.
Pushing is not leading. In fact, it is a step backward because you are not in front of them, rather you are behind them. You are in a subordinate position which only creates a relationship of dependency rather than self sufficiency.
As a network marketing leader, when someone falls into the "push" group, it is time to evaluate your strategy and time commitments. You may also wonder if it is you who is failing to be an effective leader.
Are you valuable to those you lead? Do you provide support, knowledge, encouragement and other forms of value to the group that they cannot get by going to a weekend seminar or purchase in a book?
If you are in network marketing are you actually leading people? Leadership starts before you sign up your first prospect. Potential followers see you as a leader and are looking for signs why they should follow you.
Don't be an absentee leader. Step up and take responsibility. Even if you don't see yourself as a leader, you don't have to act like a head football coach to be effective. There are other ways to be helpful to your downline. Find out your strengths and turn them into qualities of leadership.
by: John Stuart Leslie