Network Marketing at the Oscars

The movie Glengary Glen Ross offers no redeeming qualities. Salesmen are negatively presented as the sleaziest manifestation of the human condition. It is amazing to me why anyone who honors the profession of selling would give this production the time of day.

Effort should be made to recognize and commend movies that present a positive commentary and can be emulated by aspiring networkers. Rather than suggesting that Glengary Glen Ross is worthy of a "Networking Oscar," it should be condemned for the trash it is and given the No Hope Award.

I found this movie so demeaning to salespeople that after 30 minutes of watching this travesty, my wife and I returned to the box office and demanded that our money be refunded.

-- Charles East


Amazing that two people can watch the same thing and yet see two such different things! Where you see a travesty of no redeeming qualities, I see a masterpiece, with portraits of such tragic poignancy they make me fairly weep.

You point out that Mamet portrays salesmen negatively, as the sleaziest manifestation of the human condition. On this you and I heartily agree: Mamet's Pulitzer-winning play is a cautionary tale, like Wall Street, or Death of a Salesman, or for that matter, Hamlet. We don't marvel at Gordon Gekko or Willy Loman or Hamlet because we aspire to be like them, but because they show us with extraordinary power some of the pitfalls in the human condition. Such is some of humanity's greatest art, that leaves us murmuring, "There, but by the grace of God, go I"--and now with a deeper insight into what that There looks like.

Glengary Glen Ross lies at the other end of the spectrum from Door to Door, and I included both for that reason. Here, with two films, you have an A to Z encyclopedia of sales: all those noblest of human qualities we aspire to have, and those meanest which we aspire not to have.

Door to Door is the drama of someone struggling to rise above his flaws (in this case, his physical handicap)--and to a great extent, succeeding. Glengary Glen Ross is the drama of men struggling to rise above their flaws (in this case, their emotional and psychological handicaps)--and to a great extent, failing. I've known people whose lives have fit both descriptions. At different times, mine has fit both. Isn't that true of all of us, If we're honest with ourselves? ("There, but by the grace of God...") -- JDM


These would be my selections of "must-see" movies for network marketers:

Rudy: A "never say quit attitude" that's absolutely essential to building your networking business (or any endeavor, for that matter).

Wall Street: This movie is brutal and calculating; however, thinking big is what Gordon Gekko was all about--learn to be vicious with your time.

Pay It Forward: The true meaning of network marketing: the power of geometric growth in good deeds.

The Rookie: Startling true movie of going after your dreams--long after they "might" have been forgotten.

All the Rocky movies: "Get up, get up, you SOB, and fight like a man--Mickey loves ya."

-- Christopher S. Lawton


Wall Street: Couldn't agree more; Gordon Gekko fits beautifully with the Alex Baldwin character from Glengarry Glen Ross and the Ben Affleck character in Boiler Room to make a scary triumvirate of "success" models. Pay It Forward: May be the first feature film network marketers rented en masse to show in their meetings! Rudy, Rookie and Rocky: Can we ever get too much of that kind of inspirational, go-for-your-dreams-no-matter-what story? Not as long as we're still human beings. -- JDM


"The Anonymous Gift"

The article (November 2003) about how you gave money to that starving couple spoke to me as a beautiful example of how God moves in people's hearts to bless and care for others. It moved me to tears. Bless you for responding to the Lord's Holy Spirit,

­­­Theresa Hamel


One of the values we emphasize with the boys in our troop is service to others through the unselfish giving of our personal resources. I appreciate the lesson in this story regarding the attitude of humility that giving requires in order for it to be edify the contributor as well as the recipient.

Who do I contact for permission to reprint "The Anonymous Gift" in the Boy Scout Troop 134 newsletter?

­­­Tim Schluter


Permission granted; our only request is that you include a source note providing our Web site. -- Ed.


"Serving People on the Margins"

To keep focused, a businessperson must have a goal and a direction. Sometimes it seems we end up working with people on the margins because of the nature of the networking business. I always hope that perhaps the business can provide people with a way out of marginal living. I know that this has happened--and I also know that it's not a 1000 batting average. I have met Michael Burns ["Heart of Business," January 2004] and can vouch for his grace and hospitality. I can see why he was hired to lead Pioneer.

­­­Barbara Barrett


Rob Hawthorne

Rob Hawthorn ["The Next Generation," Nov-Dec 2003] speaks from the heart and tells it like it is. We can all learn from this 25-year-old kid; I am sure we have not heard the last from him. His parents must be very proud. This country is still producing the best, when a 25-year-old can still make it happen.

­­­Anthony Marasco


"Transformational Leadership"

Thank you for your thought-provoking article by Cindy Wahler on "Transformational Leadership" [Nov-Dec 2003]. Do you see a way "transformational leadership" can be applied to network marketing, where we all are individual owners of our businesses and often non-team players?

­­­June McCarthy, New Zealand



Thank you for your inspiring magazine. It has legs. I find it by the bathtub, next to the coffeepot, under the seat of the car, and on the other bedside table. My husband and I both love the practical and motivational articles.

­­­Shannon Anima