Break all the rules?

Readers of our post know how we feel about management books.  They are stupid theories that do not work in real life…and they have zero value in the home-based business arena.

Folks join us because, in most cases, they can’t stand being managed.  Probably because their managers and company read stupid management books.

We manage things, we work with people” John Wooden.

‘Nough said.

In this continuing series of the books I read that were the cornerstones to our success, the ‘short-cuts’ we took by leveraging OPM, (Other People’s Minds), I want to address this management question because Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman’s book, First, Break All The Rules, solved all management problems BEFORE they became problems.

They got it right.  If we manage ourselves properly we don’t need to manage people.

It is so easy.  Such an insidious trap, once your group starts to grow, to slide into a management mode.  And when we do, two bad things happen.

1. Your leaders start managing instead of recruiting.

2. The rest of the group quickly resents it.

We end up with our best recruiters managing and the people they are managing don’t like it.  It feels just like their job!

Managing yourself

For things to get better we have to stop telling people they have to get better.  We have to get better.



Any business that does not take inventory is not in business very long.

And, since it is subjective, you can’t take it.

Here are 12 questions you need to ask your leaders and others on the team.

WARNING! Don’t be defensive.  Be prepared.  Understand that the truths you’ll discover will have a profound effect, a very positive effect.

It is not what you think, but the perception of your team.  That is all that matters.

It is a glittering chance for you to learn, modify and explode.  And isn’t it better to explode your group than take it personally and explode defensively?

Ask your team the following questions; get a consensus and work to change everything you need to.

It makes you better.  It empowers them and it builds trust.

Get out the measuring stick and see how you and your leaders measure up.

The measuring stick

1. Do I know what is expected of me? (You’ll be surprised, stay calm. You want them on the phone 80% of the time or more.  Most people don’t know that in networking.)

2. Do I have the tools to do my job right?

3. Do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

4. In the last 7 days have I received recognition or praise?

5. Do my sponsor and upline care about me as a person? (If you don’t know their ‘why’ without looking, you don’t really care)

6. Is there someone who encourages you daily?

7. Do my opinions count?

8. Does the mission of the team and company make me feel my work is valued and important?

9. Are other reps committed to doing quality work?

10. Do I have a close friend on the team?

11. In the last 8 weeks have I talked to someone about my progress and received suggestions about how to improve?

12. In the last 30 days have I had opportunities to learn and grow? (Sorry, plugging them into cookie club conference calls doesn’t count.)

Once one gets this input and ‘manages’ themselves, the old saying, a rising tide raises all ships, happens.  You are instantly shifted from ‘manager’ to leader.

People follow leaders, not managers.

Managers are not leaders

Obviously, as your group grows we get pushed into managing.  BREAK ALL THE RULES! Don’t take the bait.

The great leaders know it is a waste of time to try to put into someone something that is not there.  Instead, they work with the person to draw out what is there that will help the person and the team improve.  We do this by working with them.

We’ve all been talking to people since we were two years old.  No talent is required.

Help them understand all networking is (it’s talking to people like they’ve been doing their whole life).  Focus on that behavior, not the comp plan.

The great leaders reach in and develop what is there and make what is good and natural GREAT.

‘Managers’ try to make people what they are not.  I cannot say it often enough.  Networking is easy once we understand the primary task is talking to people and we don’t need to create recruiting machines within Mike the Machinist or Harriet the Homemaker.  Mike and Harriet have been recommending things to people since they were 5 or 6 years old.

The next level

Marcus and Curt make it really simple.  Apply these 4 keys, and of the 4, turn the last 3 every single day to get to the next level.

Key #1: Select for talent.

Again, no talent required in networking.  So on this one, we BREAK THE RULES and substitute Coach-ability for talent.

Can’t get reps to be coach-able?  Try this.

Focus on what they want out of the business (see Influencers) and link their want to behaviors, not results.

Talent? What is it anyway?

Highly overrated everywhere but much more so in networking.

We’re just talking to people.  Anyone can get a ‘yes’ 90% of the time or more with 1 sentence and just by being themselves.

Key #2: Define the desired outcome of the primary task.

American corps. spend more money on education than all public and private schools from kindergarten thru college.

What do they spend more than 95% of it on?

3 things.

1. What the job is.

2. How to do the job.

3. How to avoid letting people, places or things interfere with doing the job.

WOW…think about it.  They do not know what to do.

1. We invite people to check out what we have.  2. We teach them to recruit rejection free. 3. We help them set a schedule up and add 20% because of interrupting and inexperience.

Key #3: Focus on Strengths.

They already know how to talk to people.  Focus on helping them relax and understand they’ve been recommending things their entire life.  Help them be themselves, not slick pitchman and pitchwomen.  Find their strengths and compliment, compliment, compliment.

Their strength is they know people who like them, and inviting them to a webcast or to listen to a CD is something they know how to do.

Key #4: Find the Right Fit.

So simple in networking.  Make 5 to 10 sets of 3-way calls with them, do lots of non-recruiting 3-ways to get them comfortable with recruiting 3-ways.

Maybe they want to make the calls…great.

Maybe they want to provide names and introduce you…great.

Everyone likes one or the other, to begin with.  So find the right fit and hammer it.

Turn Keys 2,3 & 4 daily.


Breaking another rule here.  Look, the expression, ‘the fortune is in the follow-up’ is cool, but most people never follow-up with the MVIPs (the Most Very Important People)…your team.

Give it 30 days of managing yourself after you get the answers to the 12 questions and revisit for more feedback.

Go over the 12 questions and see where they see improvement…and where they don’t.

Managing yourself in this manner will make you a leader and avoid becoming a manager.  They already have one of those on their job.

Yes, it took some time to do this

Yes, I did not like everything I heard.

But yes, it made a massive difference and it still does.  When a group stalls, I pull out these 12 questions and instantly find 2 or more ways to improve, and I find out, again, that is really is true that a rising tide raises all ships.


mark j

world’s laziest networker

About the Author

  • These 12 simple questions will help me build my team as well as sustaining my dreams. It will help me empower myself and learn to lead my team, as stated no one likes to be managed. This Measuring Stick would be an important piece of information to keep handy as we are working with our teams and refering to it often. It is very important to have a couple of very close friends on your team to bounce new ideas and better policies between everyone in the group. Focus on everyones strength and we all appreciate compliments.

  • Mark, I’m elated by your post… and … planning to re-read. The information you have here is priceless and it’s clear that d0-ing what you describe is truly the time tested formula for success. Thank you very much.

  • What a magic key to a successful team. I will use all of the steps in my business. When we supply all the tools it makes it easy. That leaves commitment. Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. FDR
    Thank you.

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