Michael DiMuccio

Creating World-Class Leaders

Michael DiMuccio Shows How to Build a Worldwide Organization

By John David Mann

In early 90s, Michael DiMuccio was a working electrician. A qualified aerospace engineer and accomplished professional musician, he had greater ambitions in life: "But, like so many people, I simply wound up doing what came along."

As it happened, something quite different came along. A friend mentioned that his boss was involved in some project, earning lots of money. Michael went to one presentation, and was convinced. "I'd always known that some day I would be involved in something that would earn a lot of money. This was it."

Today Mike leads a network organization of about 50,000 distributors, spread out over 23 countries. A native of Canada, he now lives in Barbados with his wife and three kids - when we spoke with Mike recently, child #3 was just a week old.

At what point, we wonder, did he first realize that this was going to work - that he was going to make it to the top? His answer is classic DiMuccio:

"It was never a question. And really, looking back, that was probably an important factor: I expected to finish, and I suppose I operated according to my expectations."

He had no doubts?

"None. I simply expected to win." Slow Start

His convictions notwithstanding, Michael's was hardly an overnight success story. His first year in network marketing, he says, was "pretty much like everybody's: getting my feet wet." He gradually learned the language, the communication and listening skills, how to present and conduct oneself, the importance of posture...and the confidence that comes only with practice.

The results? He carved out a decent income, mostly from retail sales in a niche market - but after a year, his residual income was not enough even to make a car payment. Still, Michael had gained his most prized network marketing asset: his mind was fully engaged.

"I fell in love with the whole concept: the people, the motivation, the mindset."

He read John Kalench's Being the Best You Can Be in MLM (virtually the only generic training book at the time); but most of his early education and motivation came from personal contact with the leaders within the company.

"This was the first thing I'd found that fed my mind with this kind of information: the positive mental attitude, the fact that how you see the world determines your results, all the principles of the classic success literature - it was all there, and it was all in alignment with the core of my being."

Breakthrough: The Focused Launch Effort

After his first year in the industry, Michael joined a different company, parlaying all the experience, mistakes and learning of his first year into a focused effort.

"I had the opportunity to compress everything I'd done in the course of twelve months into a matter of weeks. It meant that I really launched my business, rather than easing into it."

Michael soon realized that one could apply the launch effort model in any situation - for anyone, any time, in any situation. "You can design a focused launch effort and effectively start over, even if you've already been building for months, or years!"

This experience gave Michael one of his first and most important principles about the business: the idea of a focused launch effort. The compounding dynamic of a focused launch effort, says Mike, is something like a nuclear reaction:

"When you let all that energy and preparation out at once, you create an incredible explosion - beyond your control. People say you can do this business part-time, that you can build it a little bit at a time. I do not agree. If you want to build a significant income in network marketing, it's got to be an all-or-nothing effort. I don't believe there is such a thing as a part-time-effort launch - it's an oxymoron."

In a sense, he learned this almost by accident. The company he'd joined was just about to open business in Canada; this gave Michael a definitive deadline, around which to organize his efforts. It also became a great prospecting argument:

"People want to be involved with something at its initiation. I looked for those I felt would contribute the most to the effort - as opposed to the classic error, which is to look for people who could use the help."

He began approaching people from his warm list, starting with those for whom he had the most respect. One of the first people he talked to had a remarkable experience with the product - and happened to be a very resourceful and influential person in the community, providing Michael with instant credibility. The effort snowballed; within days he had the start of a core group, which he calls "a nucleus." The nucleus threw themselves into planning for the launch.

Generalizing the Launch

Michael soon realized that one could apply the launch effort model in any situation - for anyone, any time, in any situation. "You can design a focused launch effort and effectively start over, even if you've already been building for months, or years!"

Today Michael speaks of this as, "The rhythm of the business."

"We start by carving up the month into four weeks, then look at what events we need to organize in each of those weeks so that, from start to finish, we can complete two or three iterations of the process."

"The process," often called an "information pipeline" in the business, is the sequence of events that takes people through learning about the opportunity and the products, trains them and gets them involved, so that by the following next week, they're up and running - leveraging the same process and system of events with people they know.

The entire launch strategy also revolves around the concept of the nucleus.

"Frankly, you can't launch your business as an individual. That's not even a launch by definition. Gathering your nucleus - that team of individuals, preferably all front line, who are committed to and focused on putting this thing on the map - is critical. Creating your nucleus is your pre-launch."

In Michael's initial launch, he and his team went through 3000 video tapes in their first month, resulting in 300 new distributors in the organization. Says Mike, "It was nothing revolutionary: just a lot of exposure in a short period of time - with a channel. We knew how to channel that energy. We knew where to invite these people - we knew where the next meeting was and that we were all committed to being there."

Their first meeting had 43 people. For their first special end-of-month event, complete with out-of-town guest speaker (from their upline), 230 people were in attendance.

Our Real Product

We ask, what are the fundamentals, the essential attributes you need for success in this business?

What are the essential attributes you need for success in this business? "Focus and discipline. You can always learn what you don't understand or don't know, given the time. But if you don't have the focus to achieve something and the discipline to go through the learning curve, you'll simply never achieve it or learn it."

"Focus and discipline. You can always learn what you don't understand or don't know, given the time. But if you don't have the focus to achieve something and the discipline to go through the learning curve, you'll simply never achieve it or learn it.

"You need to be willing to take a chance. Know that you're going to make mistakes; it's inevitable, it's part of the entire growing process.

You've got to be a risk taker, and you need to be willing not to concern yourself with what other people think of you."

We ask Michael, what, for him, is the best thing about network marketing? His answer comes back without hesitation: "Network marketing is an opportunity to develop the individual so that he is fully autonomous.

"At the level of the consumer, network marketing allows people to do a valuable service. We bring things of value to the consumer. Then there's the value we offer people by virtue of their being part of the growth and development of an organization, experiencing it first hand."

But the bottom line, for Michael, is that network marketing offers leadership to a world that desperately needs it.

"The world does not need more followers," he says. "We already have far too many! What we need are leaders.

"Leaders are people who have confidence in their ability to make decisions and stick by them. Leaders face their fears. They're not afraid of making mistakes; they understand that it's part of the process, that there's only one way to get that experience - and that is experience. Network marketing creates a safe environment for people to get that experience.

"Network marketing leaders take our profession seriously and recognize that it is a profession of epic proportions. Take an international network marketer, put him or her into the presidency of any country in this world - and they'll do an amazing job. They will have the competencies and the abilities to handle themselves in virtually any situation.

"That's really what network marketing is creating: world leaders. Local, regional, national, international leaders - leaders of substance."

Three Degrees of Competency

I was taught that you have to wait for leaders to take the initiative - "Wait for them to rip it away from you," was the expression. My thought was, if it's not in nature, it's not true. Everything that works perfectly, we find working perfectly in nature.

A mother bird will feed her new hatchling up to a certain point, after which she will not show up at the nest. Instead, she'll be in a nearby tree, calling out to the baby bird, come and get it, encouraging him to take flight. If the mother never did that, the hatchling would never learn how to fly. You can't "wait for them to rip it from you" - you need to show them how. Leadership starts with you.

Let's say I pick you up at the airport in my car; you've never been here before. I put you in the passenger seat and drive you to my home. Now, you're probably looking at that ride from the passenger's point of view. You're looking at the scenery, at all the landmarks. You're not noticing which streets I turn on or where those turns take me. It's your first time in this city - you're catching the sights.

Once we're home, if I turn around and ask you to take the car, go back and pick up someone else at the airport, you probably won't be able to do it. But that's exactly what many of us do in this business. We sponsor someone and get them launched, get them some quick success in the business - and then say, "Okay, now you go do it." But they can't! They have not transferred their perspective. They don't understand what it looks like from the driver's point of view, the perspective of the person choreographing all that activity. We expect them to learn how to do it by osmosis, but they don't; they know it only from their point of view, as a passenger.

So instead, now I say, "Okay, now you get in the driver seat, and I'll get in the back seat. Now we'll go pick up someone new at the airport; you drive while I instruct you from the back seat."

This time you're going to have a very different perspective. This time you'll be paying close attention to which streets to turn on. This time you will be developing conscious competence on how to get someone from point A to point B.

Then I'll say, "All right: this time I want you to hop in the back seat and put your new person in the driver's seat; I'll sit next to you in back." Now you'll coach that new person through the experience - and now you have yet a third point of view: how to coach someone through the experience.

These are what I call the three degrees of awareness in how to build an organization. They are three degrees of competency - and without paying careful attention to and supporting the full sequence of all three, your team's success is a crapshoot. With those three degrees, you can predict success.

- M.D.