Monday, August 20, 2007

Generals make a difference.

Imagine that you are dictator of your own country. That's pretty good—you have your own army and you have 5 loyal generals. You also have 100,000 infantrymen (of course, the generals represent leaders and the infantrymen represent distributors in case you're not following this analogy). What happens next is that one night I sneak across enemy lines and attack your army. I use my pinkbelt in karate and go chop, chop, chop and I beat up all 100,000 of your infantrymen. The next morning you wake up and you have 5 generals left. All of your infantry went home to their mothers for sympathy.

Now, here's the important question: With only 5 generals left, could you rebuild your army? Of course you could. That's the importance of leaders. When things go bad and everyone abandons the ship, you can still rebuild your organization if you have loyal leaders. What if the opposite were to happen? What if I were to sneak across enemy lines and kidnap your 5 generals? What would happen then?

The next morning, you wake up and all you have are your 100,000 infantrymen with no leadership or direction. They start marching in circles, firing inward, stepping in latrines, getting lost - it's a disaster! So as you see, generals are everything.

Some networkers build leaders. Other networkers are just busy. That's the difference why some networkers can work for a few years and finally retire from their business. These networkers focus all their activity on building leaders. The other networkers? The ones who are just busy? Well, they're still busy. If you're not convinced that building leaders is important by now, well, you can save yourself some time by not reading any further.

Okay! Let's get some leaders! We need a step-by-step plan. And that's easy because I studied engineering. If you're not familiar with engineers, we need a step-by-step plan for everything. For instance, when we walk, we have a plan. We're thinking: "Left foot, then the right foot. Left foot, then the right foot, etc." So, back to our plan. We're going to create our master plan in 3 easy steps. By mastering each step, one at a time, we'll end up with an organization of leaders. Here are the steps to master:

Step #1: Define what a leader is.
Step #2: How to find leaders.
Step #3: What to teach leaders.

Step #1 is very important. Before we go looking for leaders, wouldn't it be a great idea to know what a leader looks like? It's a lot easier to find somebody if we know what he looks like. On a recent training session, I asked the group, "Does anybody have a good definition of, what is a leader?" The answers were:

* Someone who is willing to step up and help to encourage others.
* Someone who makes sure that he gets done what needs to be done.
* Somebody who is coachable.
* Somebody who is good with people—a good communicator.
* Someone with a vision.
* A leader is somebody who wants to learn and wants to succeed.
* A leader is someone who commits to taking the action that's required to make it to the top.

And that was the list. The rest of the callers were silent. I don't think they ever thought about this question. I can't imagine how they looked for leaders if they never even knew what a leader looked like. All of the above definitions are nice, but we need something more useful. In a future article, I will share with you my 3 definitions of a leader. Once we know exactly what we are looking for, it gets easy.

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