At a very young age, I realized the importance of one's ability to speak, but more than just speak, the ability to lead and inspire--to speak from your human spirit and touch others' human spirit. My real dad said, "Many people speak, but few people are listened to." My rich dad said, "Money always flows to the leader. If you want more money, simply become more of a leader."

We all have this crucial life skill, but few of us are offered the training, time and opportunity to actually develop it, and therefore, only a very few people ever truly develop it. After researching the education programs of many network marketing businesses, I found that this is in fact one of the most important skills they develop in their people.


A Poor Investment

A friend of mine came to me because he wanted to raise some money to start his own restaurant. He is a brilliant and well-trained chef with many years of fine dining experience. He had a unique new concept for his restaurant, a well-written business plan, great financial projections, a great location already selected, and a clientele that would follow him to his new restaurant, if he could just get someone to invest the $500,000 he needed.

Everything looked and sounded good--but I did not invest in his project. Why not? Because he didn't have the leadership skills he would need to inspire confidence in others; therefore, I doubted he would ever grow his business into something large; therefore, I doubted that I would ever have gotten my investment back.

I explained to him why I was not investing with him, and he said, "But I have the best training in the world! Chefs the world over dream of attending the culinary school I attended. I have years of experience, not only in the kitchen but also in managing the restaurant. How can you say I lack leadership skills?" After some patient explaining, he began to understand my point somewhat; then he said, "But why do I need leadership skills when I have such a great education and years of experience?"

Then I recommended that he join a network marketing company that taught business education and leadership development--and he got angry. "I'm in the restaurant business! I don't need any more business education and leadership development." I realized then that to him, life-long business education and leadership development were optional.


Leadership Development Is Not an Option

I have met many successful entrepreneurs who received their business education through their network marketing businesses; and I have also found in network marketing some of the best leadership development programs I've ever seen. To me, the value of these programs is priceless.

Recently I met a young man who had been a computer programmer for many years. "One day," he told me, "a friend took me to a network marketing meeting; I signed up, and for years all I did was go to meetings, attend rallies, read books and listen to tapes. Today, I have hundreds of tapes and piles of books in my closet from those days."

Not only did he become successful in his network marketing business, but he soon also quit his programming job and started his own computer business--then took that business public and made several hundred million dollars. Here's what he says about the whole experience:

"I could not have done any of it without the training I got from that network marketing company. It was the best business and leadership development training in the world."


Speaking from Emotion to Emotion, or Spirit to Spirit

Most people today, including many we call our "leaders," speak from emotion to emotion, especially from fear or greed. Speaking from emotion to emotion produces saying things like:

If you don't get good grades, you won't get a good job. ... If you don't come to work on time, you'll be fired. ... Elect me, and I'll make sure you don't lose your Social Security benefits. ... Join my business; you can make a lot of money. ... You can't afford to quit; who will pay you as much as we do? ... You've only got eight more years to retirement; don't make waves.

As a leader, you must speak not from emotion to emotion, but from your human spirit, to touch the other person's human spirit. That is a rare skill, especially today, but when true leaders speak, their words touch our souls.

"Give me liberty or give me death." Patrick Henry

"Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" Abraham Lincoln

"You can't hold a man down without staying down with him." Booker T. Washington

"Ask not what your country can do for you...." John F. Kennedy

"I have a dream...." Martin Luther King

"Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free." Dwight Eisenhower

"Being powerful is like being a lady; if you have to tell people you are, you aren't." Margaret Thatcher

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden

"My best friend in the world is the one who brings out the best in me." Henry Ford

"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value." Albert Einstein.

More than just offering the great potential to become very rich, many network marketing companies exist to create people of great and greater value. That is why I think some of the companies in this profession are priceless.


This passage is excerpted with permission from The Business School for People Who Like Helping People, by Robert T. Kiyosaki, with Sharon Lechter, authors of Rich Dad Poor Dad.