What is Real Leadership?

I was listening to a CD from a friend of mine who is a top leader in another company.   The topic was one of my favorites:  leadership.  And while my friend is an amazing leader, I hated the program.

Why?  Because he was giving book reports on lots of leadership books he had read and trying to relate them to MLM.

Unfortunately most of the leadership books out there today are written by business school professors, or corporate consultants looking for work – not by people that have actually led anything.

My friend was talking about the levels of leadership described in the books and what qualifies people in our profession for them.  I was wishing he would just throw those books away and share the leadership lessons he’s learned himself from building and leading a large organization.

When I did the critical thinking of what leadership is in our business, I came up with four levels of leadership.  And they have almost nothing to do with the stuff people are talking about in those books.  It has to do with the actual actions you take, the behavior you model, and the influence you have on your team.

At the Mega-MLM event, I’ll be doing an intense and very deep exploration of this issue, because everything in our business goes back to leadership.  BTW, if you’re on the fence about coming, then are only seven spot left and then it will be sold out again.

But I will share with you here one of the biggest misconceptions I see about leadership.  And I think most of those books I mentioned don’t understand this.  And unfortunately most people in Network Marketing don’t either.

They’re all focused on how to make everyone a leader.  But everyone is not a leader.  In fact, about 90% of people are not leaders and don’t want to be.  And when you try and make them into leaders, you drive them away.

The vast majority of your team is going to be followers.  And that’s okay.

The magic is knowing who is who.  And being able to recognize the people who have the potential and desire to become leaders.

We’ll explore this more in some future posts.  For now let me leave you with this leadership principle:

If you ask everyone to lead – no one does!


24 thoughts on “What is Real Leadership?

  1. Hey Randy’
    There is a saying:
    “To be the best at something,you have to learn from the best”.
    When i want to learn about leadership,i prefere to learn it from real leaders’from there books ,and there autobiographies.
    To learn how to be a leaders from professors in the universities,
    on the “ivory tower”, isn’t the best way.

  2. Great Post. very true! The thought of leadership for some people scares them away with little hope for their return. The key is sifting through, and finding the people that want to lead. I just picked up a book “endless referrals” what are your thoughts on this book?

    1. Cliff here, not Randy, I have read the book, Bob Burg I believe is the author. He talks about how business can and should build their business by creating networks and asking for or earning referrals. ie. dont waste alot of money advertising to people you don’t know. Very appropriate to what we do. We build our NM businesses advertising to people close to us person to person, who in turn tell others about the business. Referrals are the best way to get your business built right. So earn them, ask for them, and take good care of them.

  3. Great post Randy. YES I definitely want to know how to tell if someone in my org has leadership material. I’m looking forward to those posts.

  4. Your point about not everyone being leaders is very interesting Randy.

    When I first was exposed to network marketing, I couldn’t understand why “leadership” was such a dominant theme. Why was everyone pushing for their members to become leaders when so few people even recognize that they have a centre of influence. And fewer still feel they are deserving of the title. It’s intimidating for people who just do not see themselves in that light. There are some people who are inherently designed to be very good team “members”, and happily support those who do aspire to lead.

    However, what does fit universally is the word “Achiever”. I will ask the question, “If you don’t think you can own the title “leader”, do you see yourself as an achiever??” Who wouldn’t say yes to that question? Who couldn’t be coached about setting goals and producing results coming from that belief?

    Now what do all achievers and leaders have in common?? Personal Responsibility (or Personal Leadership). These people understand that they create every circumstance and result in their life. They set goals. They keep their commitments. They align their thoughts, feelings, words and actions to produce their results, their circumstances, and their environment.

    the good news? These behaviours are coachable.

    The point is, get to know your people. Find what buttons / labels work for them. And coach to their strengths.

    Thank you Randy, for getting my wheels turning again : )

  5. Randy:
    That’s a book in you. That would be a great topic to cover especially from someone who is doing it.
    Maybe,In your future posts,You can recommend a few books from people you respect. I don’t like all the general stuff.
    Maybe,a step by step method for leadership and the most important aspect on leadership is WHY they do what they do and what BACKGROUND and what SKILLS they needed to develop to become a leader.

  6. Leadership is all about influence. It is easy to teach leadeship but very difficult to model leadership.I have made up my mind not to teach what i dont DO.What people don’t have they can’t give.THANk you Randy Gage

  7. Hi Randi,
    i’m absolutely agree with the idea in the post !Realy close to some of my understandings of the business wich are create them self at the present time.
    I also think the percentage is even more then 90% and that is were disappointments are getting strong ! Before we even thing about to suggest them the path of leadership,we have to check are they okay with responsibilities for their people, because this is what they affraid of !! Thank you !

  8. Hi Randy,

    This is brilliant and I agree wholeheartedly! People need to understand that “knowledge is NOTHING without experience”…….So why should you follow those who have not had the experience you are looking for?

    On your other point about leaders, you have me thinking on that one. I used to believe that leaders can be trained when following the right leadership. Now I see, it must be a desire within the person to truthfully “want” to learn and as you stated here, is not just anyone!

    Thank you for this blog. I, for one, appreciate the post and your insights into this matter.

    Sharing is critical to “networking” so I thank you!
    Mary G

  9. I do agree 90% of people aren’t looking to be a leader in MLM. Just the word makes them pull away. Sometime I have seen even physical fear just talking about it.

    However, I do think there is leadership potential in every single person in planet Earth. And when I say leadership potential I mean there are unique qualities within every human being that IF they decide to utilize, it will built into leadership skills and a sense of “attractiveness” towards what they do.

  10. Sooo true folks! Not EVERYONE on your sales team is a Leader! The worst thing to say to someone in my opinion is…”I see you as a Manager or Director….etc” THEY must see themselves in such a capacity! THEY must make the decision to lead or not lead-not you “for” them. Leadership is a learned behavior taught by example from other great Leaders. It is not really a concept that can be aquired from reading or studying books. Written materials help, but real Leadership comes with experience that develops over time!

  11. Randy you and Ata Mamedov is for me an example of a role model and I only read your books and those that you consult sichas to collect free money in the nearest future to go to the Administrator suddenly what mistakes I apologize I was not very strong in English thanks that they pay me while I’m waiting with netepeniem when you arrive to Moscow to meet you:)

Leave a Reply