The term “team” is typically used in reference to sports or direct sales and network marketing. In reality, though, nearly every person (especially adult) on the planet has a team. That being the case, when asked, you also have supervisory skills. 🙂 The only question is how good those skills are. Allow me to explain and put to rest the myth that if you’re not involved in sports or network marketing – or are involved in network marketing but have yet to attract people into your downline – you have no team… and no way to hone your leadership skills.
Sports is easy, right? Unless you’re involved in a solo kind of sport like individual tennis, skiing, and so forth (with no hope of playing at a level where bigger teams are formed, like the Olympics), defining your team and the hierarchy within the team is fairly simple. Probably not a lot of explanation needed on this one. You either have one or not. You’re either a part of one, or you’re not. So let’s look at what “team” means in other areas of life and how it’s applicable to your professional life, level of success, and leadership skills.
See, in network marketing, terminology like “team” is often used in reference to your downline, or those who are recruited and coded to you for the sake of commission overrides. Think of it like a real estate brokerage office: Everybody in that particular office is a member of that broker’s team. Got it? Then, outside of hourly employees (such as clerical staff), the broker receives a commission from the sale of every darn house sold by any and all of his or her real estate agents.
Now, if you weren’t already aware of that fact, hang with me for a few minutes before you allow your feathers to get all ruffled. This is actually as it should be, in my opinion – only the amount would be up for debate from my viewpoint.
A broker is entitled to this override for several reasons:
1. He or She is required to acquire and hold a higher license than a real estate agent. This license allows them to supervise other agents. That’s not all, though, because when I say “supervise”, I could also interchange “be held responsible or accountable” for other agents. So if an agent in their office creates a liability in a transaction or contract, the broker is ultimately held responsible for overseeing the activity of the agent. This means that, even though the agent acted, the broker may end up bearing the brunt of any issues or lawsuits because he/she is supposed to ensure the agent really knows what they’re doing and that it’s done correctly and properly. That alone is a big responsibility, from where I stand.
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “the greater the risk, the greater the potential reward”. I’d say that’s accurate in most instances… including this one.
2. It’s the broker who ultimately pays and is held accountable for paying for all the normal expenses of that office. Things like electricity, heating and air, phone landlines, and so on – even though the agents often have their own areas to meet clients and conduct business. That also means that his or her name is the one listed as being responsible (or liable, depending how you want to look at it) on any lease agreements.
So, see, when it comes to a pay structure, a brokerage is very similar to network marketing. The biggest difference I’m aware of, being that a brokerage is contained to or limited by one broker and the number of agents that can be “housed” in that office. In direct sales (aka network marketing), those limits typically do not exist. Let’s move outside the pay structure, though, so we can dispel this thought that if you don’t have a “team” in this conventional way of thinking, you (a) have no team and (b) have no leadership skills (or the opportunity to hone any).
Believe it or not, we’re all in sales, which is the profession we hear the term “team” used mostly. Every one of us. Yep, even you. The person who says they love sales and everything about sales… is involved in sales. The person who says they absolutely hate sales, everything related to sales, and every salesperson they ever met… is involved in sales themselves. How can I say that? Well, let’s look at the facts.
From the day you were born, you not only became aware of “sales” and the necessary skill of persuasion, you began to practice those skills. Who was it, as a toddler, who would either bat those pretty long eyelashes or baby blues in order to get Mom or Dad to give you what you wanted? Or, who was it who threw themselves in the middle of the floor, screaming, kicking, and yelling until Mom or Dad gave you your way? Granted, one is obviously better and exhibits more finesse than the other, but they’re both sales. “I want [this], and I need to “talk” Mom or Dad into giving it to me.”
As we age, we either get better or worse, but it’s still sales.
Then, if you’ve ever been asked on a date or asked somebody out on a date, you were practicing sales, right? I mean, you were either “buying” or you were “selling” (yourself) to the other person. Starting to make sense? This means that, even if you thought or have always been told you sucked at sales, there must’ve been a time… I’m jus sayin. 🙂
Take a minute and think about all the times you’ve practiced being a buyer and salesperson throughout your life thus far. Were you a good buyer? What about a good salesperson? Did you get better or worse as you aged?
If you’ll remember, I wrote a recent post where we discussed the fact that fear is a learned response to certain stimuli, and, as a learned response, it can also be un-learned, so to speak, if you choose to. Well, you weren’t born a salesperson; it just didn’t take you long to figure out that doing certain things were more apt to convince your “buyer” to do as you wanted, give you what you wanted, etc. If you really hone your sales skills on a professional level you learn, of course, that the art of selling is much more and, if done properly, you’re not selling people things they don’t want to buy (which may be the case as a toddler or young child); you’re actually educating the buyer and helping them make a decision about the purchase they’re already contemplating. Real sales (as I’ve been taught) is more asking than it is telling, which I’ve also found more people to be most receptive to. This way the “buyer” gets to feel totally in control of the process.
Are we good on this?
Great! Let’s integrate all this knowledge on the correlating myths as they relate to teams, team-building, and leadership.
Remember I said that even YOU have a team? Like, right now, YOU (most likely) have a team. It may be a team of one or hundreds of thousands, but you have a team.
In conventional employment, a team may be a department, a group of managers, a supervisor and a subordinate… Teams. There are upline and downline teams. There are horizontal teams. There are vertical teams. Conventional businesses and conventional teams.
Let’s say you’re not in a conventional business, though. Let’s say you have an online or offline network marketing business that you’re building. And let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that you have nobody who’s joined your current downline. So you think you don’t have a team… but you’re wrong, and thinking that way will actually sabotage what you’re striving to achieve. The reality is that you DO have a team; you’re just in the mode of preparing for them – or that team in particular, anyway.
Look at your life.
If you have a child or children, you have a team. If you have a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife, you have a team. If you have a family (that you actually associate with lol), you have a team. If you have close friends who you hang out with, maybe “break bread” with, you have a team. And, I might add, you also have supervisory and leadership skills. Now, I can’t guarantee that this philosophy is going to fly if you try to put it on your resume, but I can tell you — as somebody who previously built a very loyal and stable network marketing team, as well as somebody who’s currently involved in the network marketing arena — the dynamics of these teams in your life and how you lead and work with them would certainly have a bearing to me if I was considering you for my team. These interactions and relationships are some of the most trying in life, so if you learn to lead gracefully and follow when necessary, you’ll have impeccable leadership skills when your new team finally finds you.
Here’s a Pepsi commercial to help illustrate the effectiveness of a small, yet powerful and un-covnentional team.. and what it can do for you!
(I don’t necessarily suggest you round up your posse and try THAT, but I did think it was funny. You get the idea, right? 🙂 )
Here’s another example: Let’s say you’re married and have umpteen-dozen children. In fact, you have your own softball, basketball, or football team. If you’re able to maintain a good relationship with your spouse and children while leading them effectively, by all means, click here and join my team. Seriously, right now. The conventional world may tell you that you have no real team-building or leadership skills, but I know better. The abilities and skills that you’ve acquired and honed so you can effectively manage and grow this part of your life truly isn’t that big of leap to what you’ll need to succeed in the same capacity in business, on a professional level. (Good thing we could care less about degrees and the like in my business. Lol)
Now, as you begin to shift your thinking in this way, you’ll also find that you begin to behave differently, too. And, as you begin to behave differently, you’ll find that you also begin to attract the team you desire into your life and business – whether conventional or not, online or off. You can’t help it.
So, stop being sad, thinking, “…but I don’t HAVE a team.”
I’ve just proven to you that you do. I’ve proven to you that you have supervisory and leadership skills that you may have never realized you have. What I’m NOT telling you is that you’re done learning, you have no need to improve or grow, or all you need to do is sit back and wait. That’s all false. You must do all those things, or you’ll find (in short order) you have a team that’s outgrown you – much the same way as one partner in a relationship may outgrow another. The learning and growing on your part is vital to the longevity and stability of your team – personal or professional. Just remember…
Even YOU have a team!
See you at the top,