Servant Leadership

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“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

It was one week before I was to find out that I would serve as the director of a nonprofit ministry. I was at a conference of paid and volunteer staff of sister ministries in the spectacular Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

The speaker’s topic was servant leadership. It was the first time I heard the concept articulated and I embraced it. Leadership was scary. Servant-hood felt much more like something I could do.

Gandhi understood the concept far better than most leaders do. He was servant to the truth that he believed in. He accepted the abuse and humiliation of those who opposed him while serving his ideal.

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” ― Albert Schweitzer

I was happy serving clients of the ministry. I was happy serving the volunteers who provided much of the services.

Then the day came when I left serving in the ministry of the non-profit and came home to serving in the ministry to my mother. Some of my friends felt sorry for me that I was leaving my position to be “stuck” at home. My mother often expresses gratitude for “all the things” that I do for her.

What I know is that I was really happy doing what I did at the non-profit; and I am really happy doing what I now do for my mother.

“Relationships are never about power, and one way to avoid the will to power is to choose to limit oneself—to serve.” ― Wm. Paul Young

And there is this other part of my life, the network marketing business. I missed out on the service part. I think that the people training me, at least most of them, were all about service. But I didn’t hear or understand that.

I heard techniques that felt a lot more like taking control, even power, when sharing about my business.

I learned the best way to steer conversations to my advantage. I was taught to keep control of a presentation skillfully.

Role play went well. Actual conversations didn’t. The problem was that in actual conversations, my family and friends hadn’t taken the training.

“When you are selling instead of serving, you will not feel successful. You will feel icky.” Connie Suarez

I went to all the events. I drove over three hours to get to events. I committed over and over to follow the steps that they taught me. I got pretty good at saying things that worked for others. But I never felt like it was me.

It was my business, they told me. But if I didn’t do it their way, I was in trouble.

I can remember when one of the big earners in the company made the trip down to my town to help. He was training me and my down line. I am grateful for his willingness. But he never understood that what worked for him, didn’t work for me.

He challenged each of us to call someone we knew in the neighboring city. We were to invite them to a meeting that evening.

I called someone. I followed my leader’s instruction. I did it exactly as he wanted. And when I got off the call I felt icky. I felt spammy. I felt the need to call back and apologize.

“True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not to enrich the leader.” ― John C. Maxwell

It is true that what I was offering had the potential to benefit others. I was not truly driven by that.

I was taught to write down everyone who I knew and call them. The plan was to get them to watch a video without any other information. Then I was to ask them specific questions and when they asked me questions to get them on the phone with a team member for third party validation.

Of course, I am over simplifying. But you probably have experienced this on one side of that interaction or the other. It didn’t feel good, did it?

“We must be silent before we can listen. We must listen before we can learn. We must learn before we can prepare. We must prepare before we can serve. We must serve before we can lead.” ― William Arthur Ward

I am glad to say that the company that I am with is changing. In fact, the industry is changing. Many understand that not everyone can do the old school sell. Many understand that the industry is not served by the old school sell.

Many recognize that the network marketing professional must listen to people not prospects.

My family is not comprised of prospects. My friends are family. They are not prospects.

My family and friends, like me and the rest of earth’s population, want someone to listen to them. We frantically race through our busy days without anyone really listening to us. The people closest to us are tragically not listening to us.

“It is high time the ideal of success should be replaced with the ideal of service.” ― Albert Einstein

A friend of mine once told me her method for maintaining a conversation with anyone. She just asked questions until she discovered their interest. Once she had identified the topic of interest, conversation came naturally.

She realized that to serve someone was the key to success. Her service was listening.

Try her technique. See for yourself. When we listen it changes the dynamic of the conversation.

“I don’t think there’s anything as wonderful in life as being able to help someone else.” ― Betty Ford

But what if you are representing a company with products that change people’s health and well being; what if you are representing a company that helps people get out of debt, be able to retire,  to be a full-time parent? What if what you have to share will massively change other’s lives, but they won’t listen to you?

Are you willing to listen to them until you understand what it is that they really want?

Are you willing to wait until they are ready to listen to you?

Are you willing to help them with what they really want even if it isn’t your solution?

“Where do you want me to go, what do you want me to say, to whom?” ― Carrie Dickie

This is what one of my leaders prays everyday. It is what I now pray.

This prayer puts me into a mindset of servant leadership. I am opening up my options in any communication throughout my day. I am now free to listen for needs. I am free to serve in the best way I know.

My service may be an offer to pray.

My service may be to ask them to coffee.

My service may be to listen.

Maybe, my service will be to tell them about my business and how it is changing the lives of people like them. But only if it is a genuine service to them.

“One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley

The fact that we benefit from serving is a trap. We need to keep our focus on benefiting others. But if we need to build a business how do we make it all work?

I need to keep building my business even thought I was not comfortable with old school network marketing skills. I do need to pay bills. I even want to do some traveling.

My plan was to continue doing what had worked for others believing that it would work for me. Then my mother’s needs changed. I suddenly needed to stay with her more. I was tethered to our home.

That required that I either find another source of income or figure out another way to build my business.

That is when I discovered what I wish my up line had discovered and shared with me in thee beginning. Oh what a difference that would have made. I discovered Attraction Marketing.

Attraction Marketing is a natural for me. It has been so good for me I am able to see how valuable the old school methods were valuable for me to learn first.

Since you are still with me I guess you are interested. You are a great listener. I think this might be for you.

Here is a link for you to learn about the same training I have received.

When you click on the link you will receive an offer for a free 10 day boot camp. You will receive 10 daily emails plus information about further training. It is the same training I have using.

I will have notification of your interest and will email you as well.

I will be here to serve you. I want to answer any questions you have. My email will give you my phone number.

You can also go to my Facebook page and message me at https://www.facebook.com/theconniesuarez/

Clicking here will get you started at no cost and get many of your questions answered.

God bless you as you serve.

 

 

 

 

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