Giving is the cornerstone of all successful networks, families, marriages and relationships. It is the primary element of true leadership, the foundation of our ability to positively impact and change the world around us.

In network marketing, as in life, giving is one of the easiest things to do, and yet many leaders often get caught in the concerns of giving with expectation, or giving in order to receive.

This type of giving is the hallmark of codependence in relationships and networks and it short-circuits the act itself. It illustrates a fundamental lack of understanding and maturity as a leader; it will lead to poor performance and will ultimately affect the stability and growth of the network.

Even more important, it will discourage the development of new leaders to carry on the legacy of leadership development.

True generosity and giving behaves much in the way the apostle Paul describes love: it does not ask for anything in return—and yet the return does come, through the development of a powerful culture of trust, faith and empowering relationships.

It is also the only path that genuinely leads by example. Virtually all the leaders I admire are quick to give credit to the leaders who have shaped their personal leadership development. And when they do, they most often speak of a leader who gave of him- or herself generously and without conditions, in the same way that a good parent gives without expectation of performance or of receiving. This fosters the development of new leaders who go out into the community prepared to give as a function of their desire to lead.

John Maxwell describes this beautifully in what he calls the Law of Addition: it is the power of giving as the way to bring added value.

In network marketing, this is best seen in leaders who listen, work together with their team, foster leadership development in others, and are not invested in being right. They are responsible and go the extra mile because they care.

This brings value in myriad ways. It creates a culture of respect, trust, and a solid work ethic that defines the team’s values, all of which brings stability and long-term loyalty. Healthy business communities, healthy families, and healthy relationships all hold dear to the value of giving.

Giving is the only way to bring lasting value and create a true legacy.

Generosity is the true path of leadership, because it teaches leadership in its purest form.


Ana Gabriel Mann, M.A., is an internationally known educator
and network marketing leader. She lives in Hadley, Massachusetts.