The biggest mistake I see new leaders in the direct sales industry make is to make it all about themselves and their own targets, instead of their team and their targets.
Being a leader means you make it about your team, not about yourself.
I’ve seen leaders fumble through the month and only contact their team members in the last week to find out how many sales they’re going to place so they now if they’re going to hit their target that month…..
As you know I’m a planner so watching a leader operate that way makes me itchy all over. But the worst is that that call at the end of the month is not to benefit those team members. And they know it because they’re not stupid.
So today I’d like to share with you 8 pieces of advice on being a nurturing, inspiring leader.
- Talk less and listen more.
I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but there’s a truth here. You need to make it about them, not you! Listen, really listen, to your team members.
- Stop trying to fix everything.
Some things are out of your control and that’s okay. You don’t have to be superwoman – just a sympathetic (and encouraging) ear.
- Know that your team member has the answer that’s right for them.
Learn to see your team members’ amazing qualities. We have a wide range of personalities in our teams and each person has a different way of working and communicating. As a leader, always look for the best in your teamies. Sometimes our faith in them leads them to discover amazing things about themselves!
- Know their ‘why’ or their goal.
Remind them regularly of why they are in direct sales or what particular goal they’re striving to achieve. Sometimes life gets in the way or they go too far out of their comfort zone and slip back into habits that won’t move their business forward. Gentle reminders and encouragement from you will help them to step up again.
- Let them choose the action steps they’re going to take.
You can discuss options with them, share your experiences and tips but in the end they have to walk their own path to success. By letting them set their own goals and action steps, they take ownership of the process and they are so much more likely to actually do the work. (Also see this article on coaching)
- Help your team members to feel successful.
Helping your team members feel successful will help them become successful. The more you recognize and celebrate the small wins along the way, the better they feel. Success breeds success (read more about this phenomenon in this article).
- Make it all about them!
Take responsibility for your own direct selling business without putting pressure on your team members to meet your targets. Be inspiring, encouraging, nurturing and helpful. Always make it about them – not about your business or your goals.
- Let go of the outcome and enjoy the process.
I suppose this is a bit Zen in a way – to detach from the outcome. Setting goals is important, sure, but in the end you want to enjoy the process. When you work with your team in this way it’s a pleasure. You’ll find joy in seeing them shine and grow and your direct sales team will thrive.
I hope you find these tips helpful.
I wonder which one resonated with you the most? And do you have some leadership advice to add?