Leadership is Personal

Thursday, September 12, 2013

To my SuperStar Director friends.....

The question I hear from the leaders on my team more than any other question is "How do I motivate my team?" 

My answer.....You don't. 

People do things for their reasons, not yours. If we want to help other people succeed, we have to know their reasons. But when you have 3 small kids, a husband, 11 chickens, a golden retriever, and your own business to run, how to really get to know the people on your team? 

It seems overwhelming. I know. 

As leaders, our main responsibility is to our frontline and our directors. We are not responsible for them, but we are responsible to them. 

Your biggest responsibility is not to motivate them….it is to know them.

It's also important to note before we go any father, that as a leader, you are not normal. Most people do not know how to work for themselves. They don't know how to hold themselves accountable. That's where we come in. More than likely, if you're a SuperStar director, you are self motivated, and you've figured out how to work for yourself. As leaders, we can help our frontline and even our directors learn how to work for themselves, but we have to get to know them first. 

A few years ago, after our annual leadership retreat, I walked away feeling like I was trying to take care of too many people and as a result, I really wasn’t taking care of anyone well. That’s when I knew I needed to start focusing on my frontline and my leaders. 

But how? I already felt overworked and overtired. 

I started by making a list of every single thing I was doing in my business, and I started questioning everything.....why am I doing that? Does that make me money? Is that helping me build my team? Is that necessary? 

Question everything you do. 

Are you doing something because someone else does it and it works for them? That doesn't mean it works for you. 

Are you doing something because you've always done it? That doesn't mean it's effective or a good use of your time, resources, or talents. 

I started crossing things off my to do list. I knew I had to make room for relationship building.

I hired an assistant. I created systems. I delegated. And I freed up myself to spend my time, energy, and resources connecting with, getting to know and encouraging the people that I am responsible to.

Leadership is personal.

And somewhere along the way I had made leadership very administrative  I was busy. I was doing a lot of things, but I was missing the boat. 

The best leaders are the best relationship builders.

All the fun incentives and pretty things are fun, but what really matters is whether or not you know the people who are helping you grow your business.

People do things for their reasons, not yours (this is why incentives often don’t work).
If you want to motivate people, you have to know their reasons.

So what does that look like? How do we really get to know our frontline?

I have 3 small kids (6, 4, and 10 months), my personal business to run, and a husband to take care of. Oh and 11 chickens and golden retriever. I know you’re busy. We all are.

Remember earlier when I told you to question everything? I mean it. Question everything you are doing in your business. Why are you doing what you’re doing, and is it the best use of your time and talents?

Here’s some food for thought:
You need your people more than they need you. So how are you serving them?

I asked myself all these questions and made some hard decisions about what I wanted my business and home life to look like a couple years ago.

I decided that if I wanted to get to know my frontline, I was going to have to invest a good amount of time getting to know them.

When I look back at the beginning of my business, I know I was successful because of the relationships I had with my frontline….Jacquleyn Roy and Jana Holcomb were some of my earliest recruits, and we were always talking Scentsy. The good, the bad, the ugly, the frustrating, the exciting. We were sharing ideas and thinking outside the box. We all knew why were working and we were able to hold each other accountable.

I realized that I needed to somehow create that for my frontline. I needed to create an environment where my frontline were able to thrive on their own terms, but I was struggling with connecting with and having real conversations with them.

So I started with an email campaign. I sent out this email to all my frontline saying here’s the deal, I feel like I have not done a good job really being there for you, so I want to set aside time every month for us to talk and brainstorm and trouble shoot and set goals. I included times I was available to chat on the phone, or via skype or facetime or meet for coffee or lunch if they were local. 

I just knew that so many of my frontline would jump at the chance to hang out with me. Wrong. I think I had 5 people respond (out of over 100). So that's where I started. And I started reaching out to people on a personal level and telling them that I really wanted to give them the time and attention they needed, and these once a month appointments were my plan to do that. 

I sent more emails. The more emails I sent out (I sent 2 a month for a while) the more responses I received. People started to realize that I was serious. I made a youtube video that I sent out to them explaining why I wanted to set aside time each month. I also started sending out personalized texts.

I looked last night at my planner and I have between 18 and 25 frontline and directors that I meet with every month.

It has created and fostered relationships that were basically non existent before.

These monthly appointments are a phone appointment, a coffee date, or a lunch date. 

I start out every conversation very simply by saying, “So, how are things going?”

These are some of the things we address during our monthly chats: 
  •   Get Personal
  • Talk Last month
  • Talk This month
  • Talk Next month
  • Talk about current struggles and offer solutions
  • Create a challenge (if necessary) 
  •  Always be working towards a goal
  • Set up your next meeting date

I have a constant running list of the people you are working closely with.

As leaders our job is to create constant, consistent, and ongoing interaction with those people that we are most responsible to.

I realize that this is a very simple concept, but I don’t think we place enough value on it. Sometimes we feel like the administrative tasks are the things we need to be doing, but when we know that our greatest responsibility is to lead our frontline and directors and we know that to lead, we have to have strong relationships, we have to recognize that the time we spend with people is the best time we can spend.

With all that being said, the best way I have found to help my frontline and directors promote is to understand that people will not do things for my reasons, but for theirs, and our responsibility as leaders is to know their reasons and remind them of their reasons on a regular basis. 
I have to constantly remind myself that most people don’t know how to work for themselves and my job as a sponsor and a leader is to give them accountability and someone to relate to.

As a leader, your job is to stay out of the way and the lime light and give people the opportunity to succeed. That means that you stay behind the scenes and offer them the support and encouragement they need to find success in their business.

Wishing you relationships and peace tonight. 



  2. I loved this and this advice was wonderful!! Thank you for sharing Allison, I appreciate this!!


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