All posts tagged leadership

Three Quick Tips to Improve Your Team

Three Quick Tips to Improve Your Team
Three Quick Tips to Improve Your Team

Three Quick Tips to Improve Your TeamOnce you’ve invested a great deal of time and effort into building your team, the next step is to invite success by helping them improve as individuals and as a whole. By doing so, everyone wins. Each member of your team will find individual business success and will be able to pass that on to his/her downline as well. When this happens, the financial benefits increase. In today’s post, we’ve selected three steps you can take right away to improve your team and subsequently grow your business.

  1. Help each person focus on his/her goal and future. Chances are that each person on your team has a different goal. Sally might just want to work a few nights a month and make enough to pay for her daughter’s dance lessons, while Jill, who recently lost her job due to downsizing, is determined to make her direct sales business a full-time job with a full-time income. Sally and Jill’s goals couldn’t be more different, so make sure that as a leader, you help them focus on the individual goal. Doing so will make it more real, and they will have sincere motivation because it comes from something they truly desire. Help each person visualize achieving the goal and define what needs to be done to get there.
  2. Provide mini workshops so they can learn new skills. As with most industries, direct sales is always changing and adjusting to meet the needs of its customers. Stay on top of industry trends, changes from the corporate office, and even newly created techniques for closing a sale or signing a recruit. Teach a mini-workshop or hold a training call if possible once a month to teach your team new skills. Professional development not only helps the individual improve a business, but it also refreshes people’s ambition and determination to succeed. Choose a different topic each time, make a brief presentation, do a Q & A, and then provide a call to action for your downline to put the information to use. As an added incentive, follow up at the next workshop with invitations for your team to share their successes and perhaps earn a small reward.
  3. Rally around a cause to bring your team together. It is easy to get caught up in one’s own needs and responsibilities when working in direct sales, so find a cause that requires your team to work together. Cooperation and collaboration fosters an environment of camaraderie and creates a culture of support among colleagues. For example, a local family is raising money to pay for the medical bills of a sick child. Aside from donating a basket of goodies to be raffled off at the fundraiser, a direct sales team leader called on each of her members in the area to attend the event with a guest from outside the industry. For those not in the area or simply unable to go to the fundraiser, she called on them to find another way to contribute. She created a competition of sorts among other direct sales team leaders she knew. Her team was motivated not only for the cause of the fundraiser, but also to win out over the other direct sales teams participating. They were able to work together and contribute generously to a worthy cause; furthermore, they got a chance to know each other better, which guaranteed support for each other going forward.

It is said that a leader is only as good as his or her team. There are so many reasons to invest the time into making your team the best it can be, so don’t let this responsibility fall by the wayside. You will not only be helping your own business, but you will be making a difference in the lives of others by contributing to their successes.

What quick tips do you have for improving your team? Please share below!

Six Telltale Signs You Found a Leader

Six Telltale Signs You Found a Leader
Six Telltale Signs You Found a Leader

Six Telltale Signs You Found a LeaderSurrounding yourself with successful people plays a large role in your business success. An effective leader can mentor, motivate, and inspire you to do great things. You can likely look back on your years in school and identify a teacher or two who did any or all of those things for you. What did you achieve during your time with that teacher? The same goes for the real world of entrepreneurship. When looking for leaders to add to your circle and your business, here are some qualities to look for

  • The person gets things done. Not only can she be relied upon to keep her word, but she finds the most efficient way to meet her responsibilities. You can learn from people who maximize their time in such a way, as it allows them to accomplish more and to do it faster.
  • He/she has good social skills and is likeable. Most leaders have a natural way of relating to others and possess a certain amount of charisma. Others enjoy being around them, and they make for good company in both their professional and personal social lives. This likeable quality helps them earn respect and trust from their colleagues. Someone who can understand and relate to others can more easily lead those folks to achieve success.
  • A leader wants to achieve more. A leader never stops raising the bar. This person seeks continual improvement, and in turn leads others to do the same. In business, this benefits everyone. If each person in your upline is motivated to achieve more and passes that inspiration and knowledge on to you, you will achieve and continue it on to your downline. It is almost instinctual for a leader to frequently assess his or her set of goals to achieve long-term success.
  • The person learns quickly. This requires a great amount of focus, good listening skills, and a willingness to try new things right away. The ability to learn quickly allows a leader to acquire and master a large amount of skills, providing versatility that will serve him/her well in all aspects of the business.
  • He/she is organized. Organization is crucial to maximize efficiency and make time for income-producing activities. For example, since tax time can be stressful, many people have adopted a system that they keep updated throughout the entire year. When April arrives, filing taxes is easy and can be done quickly and accurately. One direct seller recommends his system of keeping his receipts in order by type of purchase instead of by month, so reporting his deductions the right way is much easier. If organization is not your strong suit, look to these people for guidance.
  • A leader understands the power of working as a team. No one finds success without the help of others in some way. Every man for himself does not work in direct sales. Working as a team has the power to bring success to everyone involved, and a leader not only understands this concept, but knows how to facilitate collaboration to make this happen.

Consider these characteristics when deciding with whom to surround yourself and who to emulate. If you have a good leader in your midst, take his or her advice to heart and use that person as a role model for how to achieve your goals.

What are some qualities of the leaders in your life? Please share your comments below!

Ten Tips for Leaders

Ten Tips for Leaders

MP900289528[1]Whether you are a seasoned direct sales leader in your company with a large downline or are just starting out as a consultant, it helps to adopt the qualities of an effective leader. For existing leaders, possessing these characteristics can help you maintain a profitable business. For direct sales novices, strengthening your leadership skills will improve your customer service as well as prepare you for any future aspirations you have for a leadership position within your company. Here are our top ten tips for being a good leader.

  1. Put people first. It isn’t always about the money. Putting people first is not only the right thing to do, but in the long run, it will contribute to your developing a good reputation as a reliable, trustworthy business person. For example, a consultant doing a home party booked several future parties with the incentive for those potential hostesses to have their own parties within the next three months. In doing so, the present hostess was able to receive a bonus in her rewards. When one of the potential hostesses had to back out due to a conflict, the consultant had to choose between rescinding the bonus for the original hostess or work to re-book the lost party. She decided it would be better for her business in the long run if she thought about her customers first; she kept her word, rewarded the bonus, and gained a loyal customer.
  2. Work cooperatively with others. In any sales career, you will likely interact with all different kinds of people. It is important to find common ground and cooperate to maximize your productivity. This goes for customers and colleagues alike, and it sets a good example for those in your downline.
  3. Maintain high positive energy. It’s normal to feel stressed or burned out once in awhile, but maintaining a high level of energy and positivity will work wonders for your own morale. Remind yourself why you started your business, what you love about it, and why you want to continue. Be your own best cheerleader; it will go far in helping to motivate others looking to you for guidance.
  4. Set clear goals. Any goals dealing with your business should be clear, specific, and challenging but realistic. Setting a goal “to make enough money to quit my full time job” is well-intended, but it could set you up to fail. It makes no mention of just how much money that would require or the timeframe involved to complete it. Decide exactly what you want and how you will go about achieving your goal to set yourself up for success.
  5. If you can’t measure it, don’t do it. Trying to accomplish a goal with no concrete way of measuring its completion will only bring you a lot of frustration. Part of what keeps us motivated is the knowledge that we are heading in the direction of accomplishment, but if you don’t know exactly what that looks like, then how will you know when you get there?
  6. Share your power with your people. Have you ever seen a movie you enjoyed so much that you can’t wait for your friends to see it too? That feeling of wanting others to share in your enthusiasm should play a big role in your business. You’ve mastered a certain set of skills that are bringing you great success; share how you do it with others. People under your leadership want to learn.
  7. Lead with action more than words. If you tell people one thing, but do another, you will lose your credibility. Words mean nothing when accompanied by actions that don’t match. Do what you say to earn and keep others’ trust in you.
  8. Use common sense. This is especially important when faced with a difficult decision. In the example of the consultant mentioned above, she was well within her rights to rescind her original hostess’s bonus. However, common sense told her that this would be unfair to the hostess who would likely express her frustration to her friends who were at the party. By following common sense, she avoided a tense situation and gained a loyal customer.
  9. Keep it simple, and don’t sweat the small stuff. When things get complicated, break them down into simple terms. There will always be obstacles, but be sure to pick your battles and don’t get bogged down with trivial things.
  10. It’s business, but make it fun! The wonderful thing about a career in direct sales is the flexibility it brings in allowing you to make the business your own. Add your own personal flair to your sales pitch, your professional development workshops, and your opportunity presentations. Find what makes you happy and integrate the fun stuff into your business. Your enjoyment will rub off on those around you.

Taking on a leadership role may or may not come naturally to you, but adopting certain qualities will definitely improve your effectiveness. What do you think of our list? Would you add anything else? Please share your ideas below!

Eight Ways to be a Great Leader

Eight Ways to be a Great Leader

Four business executives having meeting in boardroomEffective leadership is not an easy skill to master. It usually takes years and years of experience, trial and error, and self-reflection. However, the more others respect you as a leader, the more successful your business will be. Here are a few tips on how to become the kind of leader you’ve always wanted to be.

1      Keep your word. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. If you say you’re going to do something, be sure to follow through in a reasonable amount of time. You may have unanticipated circumstances arise, but a constant pattern of not doing what you said you would do will quickly cause others to lose their trust and respect. Giving someone your word should really mean something, so be sure to follow through.

2      Be inclusive, welcoming, and make others feel safe. There is nothing worse than an intimidating leader who only seems to associate with a select few. Include everyone from entry-level employees to team leaders and executives within a work environment that rewards hard work and fosters a collaborative feeling. If others are afraid of you, their work will suffer.

3      Encourage creative thinking. You want your employees to think outside the box, so the best way to get them to do this is to model it on a regular basis. When assigning a project, give a clear idea of what you want the outcome to be, and reinforce your desire for higher level thinking and creative ideas. Don’t let others be afraid to take risks.

4      Allow people to share ideas and concerns. You most likely will not agree with many of the ideas and concerns that are brought to your attention, but it is of utmost importance that those who work under you feel free to express them. A business is not a dictatorship, and you want your employees to know that their ideas have value. Give others a voice within your business. You never know what you could be overlooking.

5      Support others and help them grow. When someone makes a mistake or doesn’t seem to be up to par with their colleagues, don’t use it as a chance to knock them down. Give them the opportunity to improve by providing practical suggestions, frequent support, and positive reinforcement when possible. The same applies to those who are consistent achievers; make sure they know you appreciate their hard work and that they have your full support.

6      Keep things running smoothly. Efficiency is the key to a successful operation, so although you may have assigned others to only focus on certain areas of the business, it is your job to ensure that everyone is working together, communicating with each other, and contributing equally to the business as a whole.

7      Maintain an exciting and fun atmosphere. Don’t let the day-to-day goings-on take over the feel of your workplace. Incorporate excitement and fun by planning team-building activities, allowing others to express themselves in a way that is professional and light-hearted at the same time, and even tapping into your spontaneous side. One office manager picks a random day of each month to reward one member of her administrative staff with an employee of the month type of award that includes a silly trinket, a funny song to celebrate, and his or her favorite lunch. Make your business a place that people look forward to working each day.

8      Hold others accountable for their actions. Bending the rules for some and not for others is a slippery slope. If your employees begin to feel that there are different rules for different people, morale will go down and productivity will suffer. When a person messes up, acknowledge it and act on it appropriately. The same goes for people who do something exceptionally well. Be sure to acknowledge it and encourage them to keep up the good work.

You can become a great leader who is well-respected by making sure you level the playing field and encourage creativity and hard work. What are some other qualities you feel make an effective leader? Please share your ideas below!

What Makes a Good Leader?

What Makes a Good Leader?

Think back to your school days.  Who was your favorite teacher?  What made that person so memorable?  Most likely, he or she possessed the qualities of a great leader.  You can become one as well if you acquire essential skills that will help you run your business more efficiently and build a strong team.

Here are some qualities of an effective leader:

  • Be a planner.  Frequent planning time is crucial to any business.  Great leaders are prepared for both daily and long-term responsibilities, which can only come from organized and prioritized planning.
  • Be proactive.  This comes from effective planning.  Identify and solve potential problems before they cause irreparable damage.
  • Be decisive.   As a leader, you make important decisions for your business all the time.  Although you don’t want to be hasty, you must make informed decisions and stand by them.  In doing so, your colleagues will respect your ability to take the reins.

In addition, great business leaders must build a dedicated team.  Here are some tips to help:

  • Listen carefully.  Chances are you already do this for your customers.  You encourage their feedback so that you can meet their needs.  The same applies to your team.  What ideas do they have?  What problems are they facing?  They should feel comfortable coming to you with these matters and will appreciate having an approachable leader.
  • Encourage communication.  Listening is just one part of communicating.  You also need to get everyone involved productively, and take action on their ideas. For example, when scheduling a meeting to plan new endeavors together, prepare an agenda beforehand and stick to it. After the meeting, touch base with your team regularly during the implementation of the idea. This is will allow everyone involved to be more productive.
  • Lead by example.  This is especially important for creating a positive atmosphere.  Teams will adopt your positive attitude and help create a strong morale.  When people enjoy what they do, they have unlimited potential for success.
  • Delegate tasks.  It may be hard to relinquish control at first, but you will show your team that you trust and respect them when you hand over some responsibility.  Learn their strengths, and offer support along the way.
  • Emphasize teamwork.  Your team members should know that everyone is working toward a common goal and that each person is vital to its realization.  The feeling of being part of something greater than any one individual can be very inspiring, so don’t be afraid to tap into that.
  • Take criticism.  This is an essential skill for any leader.  Look at constructive criticism as a gateway to self-improvement.  Sometimes it takes a step back in order to identify our own areas of weakness and improve.

Not everyone is a born leader, but dedicating yourself to these skills will be a valuable asset to your business.  Like students in that favorite teacher’s classroom, your team will work hard and produce quality results.

What traits do you believe a great leader must have?  Please share with us in the comments below!