The term Leadership is often used in the direct selling industry when referring to successful professionals. Those who aspire to be successful in this business look up to people they consider leaders. True leaders have a tremendous influence in shaping the journey of aspiring entrepreneurs in the direct selling profession.
So what does leadership mean in direct selling? No leader in this profession ever became one simply because he was a born leader. Leadership is not a talent, but a discipline that is forged through years of consistent work on weaknesses, and development of strengths. Leadership is influence, and you cannot learn to lead anyone until you learn to lead yourself.
We spoke to some of the top leaders in the QNET business from around the world and tried to understand from them, what it takes to become a leader. The unanimous answer is – Invest in yourself. You are the most precious asset you own. You can become anything you want, provided you make the right investments.
We distilled our findings into three key traits.
1. Read every day
All great leaders have one thing in common: They read voraciously. In order to be a leader, develop the reading habits of a leader. If you have trouble focusing on reading, listen to audio books. For those who want to lead, reading is not a nice to have or a luxury, reading is a habit successful leaders consider critical to their success. Reading is one of the most efficient ways to acquire knowledge.
Reading gives you perspective and strengthens your ability to communicate. The ability to connect with people is of paramount importance if you are looking to be a successful business owner.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg perhaps explained this best, when he set this new year goal in 2015 — My challenge for 2015 is to read a new book every other week – with an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies.”
2. Surround yourself with leaders
One way to determine a leader’s competence, as well as their confidence, is to look at the people around them. Good leaders surround themselves with good people, but GREAT leaders surround themselves with people who are even better than they are. Surround yourself with people that have the leadership skills you want to possess. People who can challenge your thinking, your actions, and your impact.
People shape us as much as we shape them. Leaders ensure that they are shaped by people who have demonstrated their competence and character. You become like the people you spend your time with, so spend time with people you want to be more like.
“Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey
3. Build Others
The direct selling business is a people business. It’s about building people. As a leader, you have to provide motivation, inspiration, training, support, and guidance constantly. Leadership in this profession is an everyday example. It’s not a position. It’s a continuous process. The greatest reward is the time you invest in others in making them believe in themselves and their potential to achieve beyond their wildest imagination.
Leaders create other leaders, not followers. If the only thing you do as a leader is tell your team to promote you, then you have created a following, and have failed at creating and developing others. Leaders focus their time on building other leaders.