Servant Leadership was introduced to me by my mentor and company founder at the first company convention I attended in Goa, India in the year 2002. I had been in the network marketing for almost eighteen months by then and was an extremely hard working, aspiring, self-motivated networker building in the Middle East. It was quite an amazing experience for me as I saw this concept being practiced by the founders of my company and its top leaders alike. All of them together were serving the 400 odd participants by organizing, setting up, cleaning up, and helping to facilitate the event.
Even though I noticed it as a participant, it became clear as a philosophy and leadership style as it was discussed over the five-day. I recognized it with a lot of excitement and cheer, because I could relate this with my own philosophy of leadership I wanted to practice in my life. I had not seen or experienced such a thing in my ten years of working life when I was working in the corporate environment. The only servant leaders I had observed until then were my parents who had sacrificed their lives to help me and my brothers become the best we could be.
Over the past fourteen years of being a network marketer, I have understood the concept, tried my best to practice it, and my life flourishes through it. The greatest blessings I have experienced have come as a result of serving others in my business and having been able to cherish their achievements, however small or big. It’s addictive to be able to contribute to someone else’s achievements.
During my formative years in this profession, I believed the model of my company requires me to work in teams to become successful. I also discovered that the earlier I make someone in my team earn and succeed, the easier it will be for me to hold on to that partner in my team. Hence my focus has always been on helping and supporting my partners to achieve. My early partners James, Mathew, Satish, and Jerry were my focus for my first few months until they started earning weekly checks. I noticed my income was always four times theirs.
No one has become successful in network marketing without creating wealth for his or her colleagues in the organization. My income started growing exponentially the more I concentrated on making others successful and increased my efforts on their behalf. This was the most exciting thing I have ever done in my business and still continue to do after fourteen years.
Over these years I have done the same in many countries partnering with many people. Most of them have achieved success beyond their wildest dreams and continue to practice the same in their teams. I am convinced network marketing can produce untold wealth by way of helping and serving others.
Servant leadership is an ancient philosophy. In the fourth century BC, Chankya wrote in his book Arthashastra, “The king [leader] shall consider as good, not what pleases himself but what pleases his subjects [followers]... the king [leader] is a paid servant and enjoys the resources of the state together with the people.”
Servant leadership can be found in many religious texts, though the philosophy itself transcends any particular religious tradition. Jesus said, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be servant of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”—Mark 10:44-45
Islam teaches that “the leader of a people is their servant,” and other world religions have long embraced the philosophy of servant leadership.
The following characteristics are essential to the development of a servant leader:
Everyone cannot be a servant leader, as it requires you to be a servant before the world makes you a leader. Mahatma Gandhi was a great example of this. People who believe in this philosophy and who strives everyday to live a life of a servant leader eventually build massive teams—which in turn practice the same philosophy and reach millions of people around the world. Network marketing is the only business model in the world where servant leadership is seen at its best, has created success for millions of people, and will remain as the most resounding business-building value in the world. Servant leadership will lead you to success which can be passed on for generations. I am working hard every day to practice servant leadership.
CHERIAN MATHEW is a network marketing leader who heads a global organization of half a million distributors. He started building his team in Bahrain, expanded into neighboring Middle Eastern countries, and from there into Africa and India.
Born in a small Indian village, Cherian dreamed of being able to help his parents move beyond their limited world. After eleven years of employment in the corporate world and no way in sight to achieve his goals, Cherian finally discovered network marketing, the vehicle that would allow him to realize his childhood dream—and many more.
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