What does a leader in network marketing do?
I’ll bet you’ve read and heard hundreds of answers to that question—like the ones below:

Always be available for your people…Show people simple systems they can use to create successful actions…Help people set their goals—and keep them accountable…Help people stay focused and avoid unproductive actions…Always be positive: When you’re up, talk to your downline, when you’re down, talk to your upline…Be on the cutting edge: leaders are pioneers: be the first to use new technologies and pass the most useful ones down the line…Be a good example: the speed of the leader is the speed of the group…Write newsletters and e-zines to your people; keep them informed, involved and inspired…Offer your help—but don’t help so much that you end up doing their work for them; don’t just give them food for a meal, teach them how to fish for a lifetime…Put your people first; frame your goals in terms of their goals: helping others succeed is the only way you succeed.…Hold yourself to a higher standard: whatever you want your people to do, make sure you are doing it first.…Leadership is what you do.…Leadership is what you show others how to do.…Leadership is who you are.…

 

Whew! That’s a lot to remember. Isn’t there some way to simplify this business of leadership?

The first-century church inherited from the Mosaic tradition a host of directives on correct behavior; in John’s Gospel record, the carpenter from Nazareth boiled it all down to three words: “Love one another.” (Actually, in the original Greek, it’s just two words.) The logic is brilliant: If you keep that one commandment—if you really keep it—guess what? You’ll automatically be keeping all the others, too!

So, is there one commandment of network marketing leadership? One directive which, if you follow it thoroughly and consistently, will result in your doing everything else you need to do?

If there is one, my guess is that it would be this, which I learned in kindergarten from a sign on the railroad tracks:

STOP, LOOK and LISTEN.

STOP what you’re doing. Stop thinking about yourself, your situation, your life, and what’s on your plate at the moment—hold everything, and

LOOK at what’s happening. Look at what your people are doing, at who they are, and at what’s actually going on for them—then

LISTEN, really listen, to the person you’re talking to.

You’ve probably heard this one, over and over. That’s because it’s so powerful. The way you listen to your people not only tells you what they need from you as the leader, it also reveals to you where their leadership resides. In fact, the way you listen can actually make a shift in them. Listen well, and the rest of the script will follow.

No listening—no leading.

STOP, LOOK and LISTEN. When you do, you’re being a leader.

JOHN DAVID MANN is Editor of Networking Times.