Why do some network marketers attract leaders to their businesses, while others attract mostly followers?

By “leaders” I mean associates who do everything their coaches teach them to do, and more.

By “followers” I mean people who listen to their coaches, attend every call and use the system but remain average in their performance, following in the shadow of their leaders rather than developing their own leadership talents and skills. They go about their business saying, “Some day, I will be just like her!” But they won’t, because they lack drive and persistence. It isn’t about their upline, it’s about their inner line—their line of thinking.

What can we do to attract more leaders? How do we turn our followers into leaders? The answer emerges from this observation: team members follow in the steps of their leaders.

What are you doing to grow your leaders? Is this even possible?

You have the ability to plant seeds in each new team member. These seeds can either grow or wither, depending on the soil (the mindset of the team member), how much water and fertilizer they receive (the tools, system and training you offer) and the sunlight (your availability and encouragement), which spurs their growth. You can create an environment which allows your leaders to bloom—but you can’t force anyone to grow.

Leaders who plant gardens that grow leaders have a strong sense of self and believe in their ability, skills and approach to succeed.

If a leader struggles with following each new trend that comes along and cares more about what others think of him than what he believes to be true, what type of leaders will emerge from his team?

If a leader is passionate, leading the charge to change, blazing a trail and staying true to her dreams and vision, you will see other leaders emerging from her team who do the same.

Just as the eagle pushes her babies out of the nest, so does the leader who develops leaders. A leader recognizes people’s potential and unique gifts, and works not to coddle but to inspire others to overcome the external and internal challenges they face, including fear, lack of self-confidence and belief in the profession, and the feeling of not deserving success.

What kind of leader are you and what kind of following are you growing?

Leader-followers never fully develop their own path but rather try to emulate someone else’s personality and style. The truth is, only systems duplicate, not people. True leaders will take the system and insert their own personality and pizzazz to make it their own.

Leader-followers may grow a team, may earn money and may find fulfillment in their achievements. Being a leader-follower does not mean you have failed.

To be a true leader you also do not need to be earning a six-figure check. You must daily invest in your personal and professional growth. You must uncover your own gifts and forge your own pathway, despite challenges and opposition. You must become passionate about reaching your goals and dreams, and be willing to make some sacrifices to get there. You must live the lifestyle you promote before others will see it and want what you have.

Recognizing where you are on the leadership continuum is the first step to attracting more leaders on your team; making changes for yourself and your team takes time, patience and determination. Here is how you can begin to grow more leaders instead of leader-followers:

1. Grow Yourself—Read for at Least Thirty Minutes a Day

Anyone reading this knows this to be true. How many of us are actually doing it? Set this time aside on your daily calendar and make it a top action step to complete every day. A great resource for author and book suggestions, besides this magazine, is Shelfari.com.

2. Follow Up and Follow Through

There is a distinction: following up includes returning phone calls or staying in touch with a prospect after the initial contact. Following through means always remaining true to your word and doing what you said you would do. True leaders who grow leaders do both: they are organized and consistent.

3. Be Vulnerable—Share Your Challenges

Share your learning experiences and your celebrations, without being sentimental. Be real, but never complain or blame. Own your feelings. Transform negative emotions into positive energy and your team will learn to do the same.

4. Love Yourself, Then Others

First take care of you. Remember the warning from the flight attendant about putting your own oxygen mask on first before helping others? This applies to your business as well: you need to be “oxygenated,” calm, focused and settled in, and only then can you be the leader who inspires other leaders.

5. Model Confidence and Success—Whether You Feel Like It or Not

Monitor your mood and self-talk. If need be, talk or act yourself into a new attitude. Everyone experiences challenges and setbacks in business and in life. Leaders are those who continuously envision themselves as a success.

6. Program Your Goals and Vision into Your Inner GPS system

Narrow your goals down to their very essence, then go after them with everything within you. You will need to take different steps to execute your action plan, but the simple act of reading your goals, envisioning how it will look and feel when you achieve them, and writing about them in vivid detail is a powerful way to stay focused on your vision.

By committing or renewing your commitment to the leadership journey, you will not only change yourself but you will also provide a tremendous service to your team: you will show your budding leaders that they can do so much more—be more, live more, and love more!

KELLY WISSINK is successful network marketing leader
and an award-winning sponsor and coach. Using the internet
and phone exclusively to build her team, she balances her time
between home schooling her three children and social networking.