Yesterday there was what seems to be a disruption and potential breakdown in one of the corporate offices of a rather large direct sales company in the beauty industry. No one really knows what it is going to boil down to, but it affects a very large number of direct sellers. But that’s not what I want to talk about in this blog. No, I want to talk about the aftermath of something like this. When a company becomes unstable or unknown if it will be around much longer in the future, the predatory side of direct sellers come out. And, it needs to change. We can absolutely be more ethical, and kinder than the behavior I saw yesterday.
The direct sales industry itself is largely understood as being self serving, spammy, and manipulative. There is a percentage of us who don’t behave that way and pride ourselves in being attraction marketers, but this industry truly does have a manipulation problem. Last night, it came in the form of direct sellers targeting those from the “rumored unstable” company in order to try and recruit them.
Cut the self-serving crap.
Servant leadership is about figuring out and meeting the needs of others before yourself. Posting a status to figure out who sells a certain product in a company that is in distress in order to follow up with them for your opportunity later is SELF SERVING. PMing contacts that you know sell for that company during one of the hardest times is feeding on raw emotion, and not meeting anyone’s needs but your own. I don’t care if your upline did it and got 40 recruits. It’s selfish and unethical. And it’s exactly why the industry is looked down upon.
So, what does a servant leader do in instances like this?
- A servant leader checks in on their close contacts (people they already have an established relationship with) who are affected, and asks “how can I support you?” with true non-recruitment intention.
- A servant leader calls out misbehavior, or even just the appearance of it, for the sake of bettering those she leads and the industry at large.
- A servant leader offers public facing resources, support & value WITHOUT. STRINGS. ATTACHED. This can be in the form of microblogging via facebook, instagram, or live video. This can be mindset, encouragement, or resources for coping with company upheaval. Again, this is without strings attached. Servant leaders don’t live in a state of expectation that people will follow or join them just because they’ve shared something of benefit.
Companies will fall. They’ll close. There is a lifecycle in businesses like ours, but next time something massive happens within the industry… check your intentions. If you see it solely as an opportunity to recruit the people displaced, start digging into the idea of servant leadership. It’s time to grow. We can all be better, and this industry can be better.
Want to hear more about Servant Leadership? Check out my favorite Sassy Suite Podcast!