Recently I was invited to attend an event hosted by a growing direct selling company designed for the up-and-coming leaders in the company. These people achieved a rank or performance that would indicate they have potential to grow into top performers.
My job was to observe. Listen. Watch the activities and gain a better understanding of their culture so that I could see what’s working and, potentially, see some areas to improve upon.
I’ve sat in a few meetings similar to this one, but this one felt different.
In the past, I’ve often encountered a faction of people who thought they knew more about the business than everyone else in the room; a certain arrogance was present. And, any amount of education / training presented by the company was met with resistance.
In fact, at one of these meetings, I was asked to talk to the group and after watching them gripe and moan about every little thing, I told them I felt like I was at Thanksgiving dinner with the family that “sort of” gets along. While they all love each other, there is, often, an argumentative tone to the day. And, the disagreements are usually meaningless. Just reasons to be right and make others feel wrong.
But, like I said, this recent meeting was different.
They all got along. They seemed to all like each other. They all listened to the corporate team and took copious notes so they could remember every ounce of teaching that was presented to them. I actually felt like they were going to learn from the experience and then go back home and train others on the topics and strategies they had just learned.
So, why was it different?
After reviewing the audience and mingling with them for a day or so, I believe it was comprised of people that have, mostly, never been involved in direct selling before.
There was not a single “know-it-all” in the group. Nobody that had ever “been there and done that.”
They all wanted to learn and wanted to continue to grow their success.
And, they were all growing. They were all achieving. They were all getting a little better every day.
They were having fun.
And the corporate leadership shined the spotlight on the audience– making certain the event and training was about the attendees and not about making anyone at corporate seem more important than anyone else in the room.
Clearly, the humble attitude started at the top.
Culturally, it felt genuine and real. It felt healthy. It felt positive and poised for more growth.
So, is there a moral or conclusion to this?
I am going to quote my good friend and owner of SUCCESS Partners.
“Be careful who you attract on the way to who you become.”
In other words, attracting the right people into your business will determine who you become, as a company, later.
You cannot pick and choose the people that want to join you but you can create an environment and set of beliefs that entices the people you want.
Look around the industry.
Some companies are, clearly, an outcome of the people that they decided to work with early in their history.
Good or bad.
I know of some that wish they had a “do-over”.
Don’t look back and wish you had a do-over.
Be intentional about the company you want to build.
Be intentional about the culture you want.
Be intentional about the people you want to attract.
We published the 2nd edition of The Core Principles of Successful, Scalable and Sustainable Direct Selling Companies a few months ago to help people be more intentional about building their businesses. It’s clear to us that you can CREATE a powerful, enduring culture that withstands the countless challenges that you are sure to face.
If you are an executive in a direct selling company and haven’t seen it yet, click here and we will send a pdf of it to you. As always, I would love to get your feedback and thoughts on it.