Are you feeling a little stuck? Growth in your network not where you’d like it to be? Perhaps this hasn’t happened to you, but for most people, there comes a point in this business, typically around the 5K to 15K volume range, where one starts to feel like the gears are jammed. You’re proud of your title … but you’d really like to hit the next one. And the income isn’t yet where you want it to be, either.

It wasn’t that hard to get to this point. “So why can’t I seem to move on and get past this barrier?”

Why? Because getting this far was up to you—and getting farther is up to others. And for some reason, those others you’ve enrolled just aren’t doing what you’ve done.

An author friend recently told me about the pioneering work of the late Dr. Elliott Jacques. According to Jacques, we are each born with a distinct, fixed capacity for complex thinking—what he termed cognitive complexity—which is revealed by how far into the future a person can project. Most people, said the research, can envision up to two or three months ahead, beyond which the horizon of their imagination dims and fades. A smaller group falls out at one year, a still smaller group at two, then five … and only a tiny minority have the inborn capacity to picture a decade or more into the future.

We have a term for that tiny minority: leaders.

One reason your people don’t do what you do is that they cannot see what you see. Which presents a challenge. This business is not designed for immediate gratification. Like a good savings plan, it is an in-it-for-the-long-haul proposition.

This is one big reason short-cuts are so attractive. Big buy-ins and front-loads. Australian two-ups, coded bonuses and razzle-dazzle pay-plan gimmicks. Stacking, “fool-proof” formulae and we-build-it-for-you systems. They all appeal to people struggling to find a short cut. But there aren’t any short cuts.

Actually, there are—they just don’t look like short cuts. They look like doing it the long way. But when you look back, five, ten years later, and see that what you built is still standing, while what your short-cutting friends built has collapsed (perhaps two or three times over), and they’re having to do it all over yet again …

As my friend Dan Burrus says, “Are you willing to slow down so you can go faster?”

The rewards ahead are stunning. But who can see that far down the road? You can. And they can see you. Others may not see the destination as clearly as you do—but they can see you. And seeing your belief, your firm grasp of where this is leading, is sometimes enough.

Be their beacon.

JOHN DAVID MANN is Consulting Editor to Networking Times.