You'll often hear me use the phrase "huddle up" when talking about leadership. And these important two words are very key to being a great leader in network marketing. I learned the importance of "huddling up" back in the 80's when I was involved with the Cambridge Diet. The big "C" that took the network marketing nation by storm. Cambridge broke all records and made millionaires over night from regular people because there was such a demand for the diet. At one point I remember them soaring over $90 million a month in sales (wholesale) and expanding rapidly. And with that company I saw incredible financial success, and fell in love with the entire network marketing "magic" - seeing my groups explode and six figure a month incomes come into play. It's where my strong belief in the MLM industry came into focus, and where I adapted the phrase, "when in doubt, diet!" My Cambridge success and experience was also the place I learned how not to be a leader, and how to truly be a leader, and came up with my leadership "Crazy 8's".
Now, here's where I will share the important thing I learned from my involvement with the Cambridge Diet, and how I learned it. Like many network marketers who go from "rags to riches" with their opportunities, often the "rags to riches" goes to their head and they slowly become, as my grandmother used to say, "too big for their britches." The first huge Cambridge convention was held in Hawaii, and I was selected as a key note speaker with one of the afternoon breakout groups. And I, along with Ken, had achieved one of the top positions. As I entered the large hall for the general assembly, I saw that many of the other top leaders were sitting up front waving at me to join them. So (ego in tact) I quickly walked up to the front of the room to sit with those leaders. And, quite honestly, I was excited to be in that position, sitting up front. I had worked hard, given more meetings and trainings than I'd like to think about, driven more miles than I wanted too, flown to various states to work with my downline, and worked hand-in-hand with my people to help them achieve success. "I've earned my place up front," I thought, proudly. Well, that is where I learned what leadership is all about.
One of my awesome key leaders whom I'd done countless meetings with came up to me after the general assembly and in a scolding way said, "you need to be sitting with your people! We are the reason you have achieved your success here! Your sitting here in front, instead of with your team, is a slap in the face!" Her comments definitely slapped me upside the head and took me back for a bit, but I apologized to her and even thanked her, and continue to thank her for being abrupt and honest with me at that point and time. She had pointed out a very important key to leadership - that of "huddling up." My team of distributors who had made the effort to be in Hawaii with me at the convention needed to know that they mattered, that they were part of my team. It wasn't about me. It was about the importance of gathering my team, sitting with them, holding a special meeting with them while there at convention, strategizing with them, recognizing them, handing out awards, and motivating them to continue building their business. They needed to know that I cared. They needed me and I wasn't there for them. This taught me what true leadership is all about.
Your networking team is made up of a "volunteer army" of independent people with hopes and dreams of success. They look to the leaders to guide them, to recognize them, to love them and care that they are there doing whatever they can to build a business. And no matter how small of a contribution, it needs to be appreciated and recognized in some way. Whether that is on a weekly team call, a team communication, an area monthly meeting, or simply a "thank you" phone call, it must be done. Communicate - Update - Congratulate - Initiate - Motivate - Anticipate - Eliminate - Celebrate - are the Crazy 8's that embrace with open arms "huddling up." While at our first convention, gather your teams, sit together, eat together, "round table" and sizzle, and know that whatever you do with your team is important to each of them. Personal growth comes when someone stretches to achieve new goals, attempts to develop new skills, and is recognized for doing so. The "congratulations" goes a long way with new and established distributors. And it is for all of us a blessing and privilege to have the teams we have, to expand and grow with them. And with every new team member we must always, no matter how successful we become ... "huddle up" and show them we care.