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How can anybody be great in network marketing?

Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace. 
Martin Luther King Jr.


In the quote above Dr King answers the question asked in the title of this post. His answers centers around the two words serve and heart. Okay, so how does this all fit into being great in network marketing? Well, if you haven’t already figured it out, network marketing success is about leadership. In a earlier post about leadership I used this quote from Seth Godin “Leadership is now the strongest marketing strategy” The two words serve and heart are the basic of the most powerful form of leadership “Servant Leadership”.

What is Servant Leadership

The phrase “Servant Leadership” coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970. In that essay, he said:

  • “The servant-leader is servant first…
  • It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.
  • Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.
  • That person is sharply different from one who is a leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…
  • The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types.

Servant Leadership is based on Seven Pillars

Ken Blanchard one of the most influential leadership experts in the world says this about Servant Leadership,
“I truly believe that Servant Leadership has never been more applicable to the world of leadership than it is today. Not only are people looking for a deeper purpose and meaning when they must meet the challenges of today's changing world; they are also looking for principles and philosophies that actually work. Servant Leadership works. Servant Leadership is about getting people to a higher level by leading people at a higher level.”


What are your thoughts about the role of Servant Leadership in your business?

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{ 38 comments… add one }
  • Edyta March 8, 2012, 8:38 am

    Hi Perry,

    I like the idea of servant leadership. I think that we need to help the others without expecting anything in return. It gives me the strength.

    Thanks for sharing this article!
    Edyta recently posted..Stressed and Depressed: Do You Recognize the Important Early Warning Signs of a Complete Breakdown?My Profile

  • Martin Casper March 6, 2012, 4:54 pm

    The best leaders in life have always possessed the attitude of humble servitude. This does not mean that they are weak-minded, rather this demonstrates the high levels of confidence that the exude. The greatest leader ever, on earth was Jesus Christ. He displayed this concept when he washed his disciples feet. Great article! Thanks.
    Martin Casper recently posted..Is Social Media Creating a Self-Serving Society?My Profile

  • Patricia Gozlan December 17, 2011, 10:56 am

    we always manifest what we focus on either with our thought either with our intention.
    When our thought or intention is geared towards helping without expecting something in return ( the metaphor of the servant) then miracles happen.
    This principle of giving before recieving is the basis of leadership as it presupposes knowledge, humility, love, care and interest for the whole.
    Thanks Perry for this insightful article!

  • Nile December 17, 2011, 2:44 am

    You have to know how to be a follower in order to be a leader. It comes with learning how people are, how you can help them. The servant-leader is only successful then.

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. definitely was a man who mastered this and as unfortunate as his life was ended unnecessarily, his message lives on.

    Thank you for this message.
    Nile recently posted..WordPress Video: A Walk Through WordPress 3.3My Profile

  • David Merrill December 13, 2011, 10:09 pm

    Profound truth, here, Perry.

    I heard Frank Kern speak once about the “secret” to having people lining up to hear what you’ve got to say. The “secret” is: care. Really and truly CARE about your readers, viewers, followers in all sizes and shapes. Nobody can mistake authentic caring for “have a nice day” patronage.
    David Merrill recently posted..Create a Skype CommunityMy Profile

  • Julieanne van Zyl October 22, 2011, 2:24 am

    Hi Perry, another great article from you! Network marketing is definitely all about helping others. However, I also agree with Joyce in her comment, about some leaders helping too much. Leaders who help everyone, tend to give up their own lives, so they end up building everyone else’s business and not their own.

    I listened to an interview with Mike Dillard recently – he said that right from when he first started his NWM business, he used to tell people – I’m here to serve you 24/7, however, you must call me if you want my help, because I won’t call you, that’s just the way I work. I’ll be here building my business, and if you want my help to build yours, please ask for it.

    Sometimes, network marketers will call their downline constantly to see if they can help them in anyway. And, I feel it’s much better for the downline to take the initiative, it encourages them to be a leader!

    Have a great weekend! regards from Julieanne
    Julieanne van Zyl recently posted..Evolution of Relationship Marketing for Online Network MarketersMy Profile

  • Jaclyn September 26, 2011, 12:20 am

    Perry what a great article post. The introduction quote from Martin Luther King Jr is perfect for it!

    Thanks for teaching me all about servant leadership. It’s the first time I learned about this term. I am guessing these are the basics you shared on it and I can see how the two types (leader-first and the servant-first) ARE two extreme types!

    One comes from a place close to possessing mostly power and recognition whereas the other comes from a place of purely SERVING others.

    -Jaclyn Castro

  • Roshanda Gilmore September 20, 2011, 10:29 am

    What a beautiful post on servant based leadership!

    I agree 100%! The more people you serve the more successful you will be in ANY business. One of the things I love about the network marketing industry is that it is designed for leaders to help their teammates in order to succeed themselves. It’s a win win!

    Enjoyed my visit here,
    Crazy Sexy Branding
    Roshanda Gilmore recently posted..Passion To Profit, 5 Week Blog Series, Pt. 2 – How To Discover Your Life’s WorkMy Profile

  • Pearly Quah September 17, 2011, 2:02 pm

    Hey Perry.
    What an excellent post ! This is a great practice which I find is very much underused. I read a book with the topic “Leadership in Jesus Christ” and I am in love with the principles and philosophy which one of them is to lead and serve with love.

    Thank you. Perry. I really pick up quite a few tips from here.

    Pearly Quah recently posted..Shortage of Water in the BodyMy Profile

  • Donna Merrill September 15, 2011, 5:41 pm

    Hi Perry,
    You said it all in this article! So many people don not realize what the word Leadership really is. As you stated above that good leaders give, this is the premise which most marketers have learned. And sadly, some do not use. As I watch the ones that serve and give, I watch them grow at a steady pace. When I see someone that is trying to be a leader and is NOT giving, just pushing their product and not being considerate, nor helpful, I run!
    Thanks for this post. Many need to hear this information.

  • Steve Nicholas August 9, 2011, 1:09 am

    Great post, Perry! I especially liked the slideshow on what a servant leader is. If you want to be a leader, you have to serve. There are people who “lead” by title or by fiat, but that doesn’t ever really last. You are so right that leadership is something that has to be earned, and it does so when the people see that the leader cares.
    Steve Nicholas recently posted..Success on Your Own TermsMy Profile

  • Gary Young China Sourcing August 6, 2011, 5:00 pm

    Hi Perry,

    I really enjoyed reading your article.

    You’re right…we can all be great at network marketing if we are a servant leader. Dr. King hit the nail right on the head. When he used those words, he wasn’t talking about network marketing. That just shows how profound he really is…being able to apply his words in almost any situation.

    Thanks for the great read.
    Gary Young China Sourcing recently posted..China Sourcing and Protecting Intellectual Property- Part TwoMy Profile

  • Loren August 4, 2011, 11:40 am

    Hi Perry,

    I love this post and wanted to revisit the profound teachings in your article. I’m sure I’ll revisit it again and again.

    Anyone can be great in network marketing, and in any profession for that matter when they accept the responsibilities of being a true servant leader. Following the guidelines you have illustrated is a sure way to achieve greatness not only in networking marketing, but also in life itself.

    These principles are the very foundation of greatness. All seven pillars are at the very heart of serving a higher purpose and will definitely build the character of those who practise them.

    As Dr Steven Covey so aptly put it, “All leadership development is character development”. I gravitate towards all that I can find to help me with character development… and it’s so great that it’s just naturally part of the “leadership package! When I mess up, I sometimes wonder if I’ll reach the levels of character development I’d like to in this lifetime, but for sure I’ll keep on working on it!

    Thanks for sharing this inspiring article.

    Loren recently posted..Off Page SEOMy Profile

  • Perry August 3, 2011, 5:46 am

    Hi Perry,

    This is such a great post and it reminded me to make sure that I’m fulfilling the leader part of my role properly.

    Naturally, I am a behind the scenes kind of girl so whilst I love to serve, stepping up to be a leader in order to serve more effectively has been my biggest struggle. Of course, a servants heart will always do what is necessary to help but I can’t lie, it was and still is a struggle sometimes!

    All the best,

    Emma 🙂
    Perry recently posted..More on google+My Profile

  • Dr. Erica Goodstone August 2, 2011, 7:19 pm


    I am definitely a servant leader in my counseling work with individuals and couples. They come to see me because they are struggling or suffering with a problem that appears to them to be insurmountable. They are often in a lot of emotional pain. I do not have expectations and I do not place additional demands upon them to suit my style of working or my need to be right or in charge.
    My total focus can be summed up in the words: How can I help you? If I don’t know the answer, I will seek help from my colleagues around the world in sex therapy, marriage counseling, mental health counseling, healing, body therapy or whatever issues needs some resourceful help.
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..Cuddling – Is it the Key to Long-Term Happy Relationships?My Profile

  • Joyce Penner August 2, 2011, 7:09 pm

    Perry. You wrote a great article here and I enjoyed it but if I could interject with one point and see if anyone else agrees with me. Servanthood within leadership means you take the majority into consideration but your time, energy and effort needs to be focused on those who are also showing the leadership abilities and build them.

    I have seen great leaders who gave, gave, gave to anyone and everyone, burned themselves out and didn’t have the up and coming leaders in place to handle everyone while he was recuperating. Crash and burn !

    So, in my opinion, there needs to be a fine line drawn and you help those who help themselves and leave the ones who expect to receive everything without any effort on their part to go back to their jobs.

    Harsh? Some may see it so but there are too many good people we’ve lost as leaders because they gave too much.
    Joyce Penner recently posted..Can you help someone today? Some deserve it.My Profile

  • Marc Korn August 2, 2011, 5:49 pm

    Hi Perry,

    Thanks for sharing this important post and great slide show.

    First, here is a quote from one of the greatest Leadership teachers, John Maxwell:
    “Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.”

    It is so important in today’s world to develop Leaders and it is important to serve first in your Leadership role, so that you can relate to those you are leading. You need to work at it day in and day out in order to keep refining your skills.

    In order to lead others, you must be disciplined yourself. Your actions will speak louder than anything you can say.
    In order to gain the respect of others, strive to lead by example in every area of your life.

    Keep inspiring us,
    Marc Korn recently posted..The Importance Of Goal SettingMy Profile

  • Sadie-Michaela Harris August 2, 2011, 5:24 am

    Hello Perry,

    Super slide show presentation. I was not familiar with the 7 pillars principle before but it all makes sense entirely!

    I think it applies to many things not only leadership with network marketing – very good share, thank you Sadie
    Sadie-Michaela Harris recently posted..Google Plus One Adding AuthorshipMy Profile

  • Lynn Jones August 1, 2011, 12:44 pm

    Hi Perry, Absolutely wonderful blog post. The teaching is rich and meaningful. The way to get to the top is to serve others and give, give, give. If what we give out returns to us, then this is the way of excellence. Give and it shall be given to you!
    Thank you so much!
    Lynn Jones recently posted..10 Ways to Make People Feel GoodMy Profile

  • Melodie Kantner August 1, 2011, 9:32 am

    I agree. Leadership is a key to success. Servant leadership, having a servant’s heart, shows we care about the people we sponsor. Not just recruiting people and being in it for the money. If we serve and love the people and what we are doing, the money will come.
    Melodie Kantner recently posted..EFT Tapping For Those Days When You Feel Crappy and UnmotivatedMy Profile

  • Linnea August 1, 2011, 9:22 am

    Hi Perry,

    It’s funny, like Loren I was at first expecting to hear sound…even though I recognized it was slide share. I guess that is a statement about how prevalent videos are these days. You might also enjoy reading “Tribal Leadership” (htttp://triballeadership.net) on purposefully building high performing tribes.
    Linnea recently posted..Three Cool New Google Search FeaturesMy Profile

  • Loren July 30, 2011, 1:08 pm

    Hi Perry,

    Another excellent post. Seth Godin put it so perfectly “leadership is now the strongest marketing strategy”. I believe it always has been one of the strongest strategies, however, more and more people are embracing it’s power and truly integrating and living this knowledge.

    Service leadership is definitely one of the major building blocks for success. Also, leading by example is important to maintaining the integrity of our business values and ensuring that we are teaching others to be strong leaders who strive to lead others to a higher level as well. So sweet that all we need to accomplish this is not a university degree but simply “a heart full of grace”.

    I loved the slide show and you’ll laugh that I put my headphones on to watch it! :))

    All of the seven pillars of servant leadership are integral to being a great leader and are strong values to live by. They are worth integrating into our very being always!

    Robert Greenleaf’s essays on “Servant Leadership” are truly worth getting our hands on. Thanks for the link.

    Great work that you do. Thanks so much,
    Loren recently posted..Why SEOMy Profile

  • Peter Fuller MBA July 27, 2011, 10:02 am

    Hey Perry

    I think the Servant Leadership is the exact model needed to be successful with Network Marketing.

    When you help others succeed then success will flow up to you.

    Peter Fuller MBA recently posted..How to Attract your Niche to your Blog – Day 5 of 5My Profile

  • Rick Lelchuk July 27, 2011, 7:28 am

    Honing your personal skills is what network marketing is really all about. They say it’s a self-development course with a business plan attached to it. Becoming a servant leader certainly makes the point. It is for those who aspire, but not for everyone. RICK

  • Kevin Martineau July 26, 2011, 6:39 pm

    Hi Perry:

    Great post on the need for servant leadership! I strongly believe that servant leadership is critical to be an effective leader. True leaders serve first!

    Kevin Martineau recently posted..2 ways to get out of our comfort zoneMy Profile

  • Alan Jenkin July 26, 2011, 9:46 am

    Excellent, Perry! It’s so easy to get caught up in the work of building a business that sometimes we forget that unless we are serving the people we lead we aren’t doing our job. As entrepreneurs we have so many tasks to keep up with, from administration to marketing, that it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees.
    Thanks for the reminder.
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  • John Gaydon July 26, 2011, 1:17 am

    Hi Perry,

    You have hit one of the essentials of success here.

    To build a huge Netwoirk of any kind, those under you need to believe you are in it for them. I know I always strive to give as much as I can for those I connect with.

    Of course, it can be a very lonely path, as many just don’t want to ask for help, or don’t think they deserve the attention of leaders.

    One of my mentors who makes several million a year, always said to be successful you need a servant’s heart. Add this to being pasionate about the products you promote and the MLM model, and you ahve a great formula for succes in this industry.
    John Gaydon recently posted..Google Cancels My Adwords AcountMy Profile

  • Carla McNeil, Social Media Coach & Speaker July 25, 2011, 1:23 pm

    Thought provoking post Perry.

    I follow John C Maxwell who teaches something very similar in all of his leadership material.

    I was just listening to an audio I have of Dr Maxwell’s where he discussed the need for leadership today. We are in a time where leadership is scarce and we need to build more great leaders.

    I believe those who succeed in MLM are those who step up to the plate and learn to become great leaders. Learning to serve first is a huge part of that. If I don’t believe my leader has my best interests at heart and is dedicated to my success I would move on and find someone who does! Therefore I have to live that one myself, it was not the easiest lesson to learn. BUT it is a lesson where we can always learn more.

    I love the quote “Every level has a new devil.”

    I have found that to be so true. 🙂

  • Joyce Edwards July 25, 2011, 9:37 am

    Hi Perry,
    You are right that people are looking for leadership in the world today. Whether it is in business or personal relationship people need someone who is going to help guide them. This is important in network marketing but I see less people really striving to become leaders.

  • Steve Shoemaker July 24, 2011, 8:33 pm

    I think you are definitely right here. It’s not about you it’s about you helping others get what they want and when they realize the process they help others and these efforts continue all through your organization. Then and only then will truly reap the rewards. Not only have you achieved your dream but have given others a hand on the way.

    Steve Shoemaker recently posted..Office Organization Tips: Don’t Waste Time Or SpaceMy Profile

  • Alexander Paul July 23, 2011, 6:54 pm

    Thx Perry to underline this kind of leadership here. Nothing better to lead this way… Because if you start pulling or even pushing you will end up alone on the mountain (in case you even will make it alone). To lead as servant and with a heart requires to understand the people first you want to lead and “sell” them onto the goal first, so that they see it as their own goal… this can be achieved as mentioned with help in putting strategies in place, helping them how to setup a blog and many other ways. So you show you are here to assist and together it’s easier than alone… Thx again for this contribution. All the best, Alex
    Alexander Paul recently posted..The Business Mentor – Four Essential Criteria When Searching For A MentorMy Profile

  • Kyle Quinlan July 23, 2011, 12:47 am

    Very thought provoking post. I love it!
    I’m striving to become a leader in the industry now and all I’m doing is soaking up knowledge and serving other people with what I know. As time goes on and I learn more and more, I’ll be in an even better position to lead. I never really thought that I could step up and be a leader, but lately I’ve been excited to take on this challenge. I think it all started for me when I began to learn that the more people that you serve the more abundance you will attract in your life.
    Thanks for posting,
    Kyle Quinlan
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  • Raena Lynn July 21, 2011, 11:52 pm

    Hi Perry,

    This is an excellent article on Servant Leadership. This is a great concept. I’ve always viewed Leadership as service, but to creatively put it together as a concept reflecting 7 pillars is brilliant.

    The quote, “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace.”~Martin Luther King Jr. serves well to illustrate the natural order of leadership.

    You listed 5 definitions of servant leadership, but the one that really resonated is “It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.”

    I loved the slide show!

    Raena Lynn
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  • Pastor Sherry July 21, 2011, 3:29 pm

    Hi Perry,

    What an excellent article on leadership! I think if we would go back and think about the leaders we’ve all worked under, we’d be able easily to tell the difference between the servant-leaders, and the leader-first. I hope we in this “business” would be the servant-first kind of leader. It makes a huge difference.
    Pastor Sherry recently posted..Taking Negative Thoughts Captive, Part 1My Profile

  • Marquita Herald July 21, 2011, 1:04 pm

    Great article Perry … I also agree with the importance of serving first. I will add though that where many new leaders stumble is they miss the part of the process that clarifies “lead” vs “drag.” The reality is some people expect leaders to do for them, vs lead them to achieve their best – and there’s a big difference.
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  • Kevin DeRoo July 20, 2011, 10:40 pm

    Hey Perry,

    Loved this article on “Servant Leadership!”

    It is so true that it today’s world the best way to lead is to serve first.

    “Serve with your knowledge, your commitment, and your compassion and you will succeed to greatness on the backs of the success of others who you have served along the way.” – Kevin DeRoo

    Thanks for sharing Perry,

    Kevin DeRoo recently posted..Understanding Your Business – Global NPN BonusesMy Profile

  • Eldon Beard July 19, 2011, 7:05 pm

    Hello Perry,

    A good leader is always a servant first – as it applies to network marketing, their desire is to help others be successful and prosper. They give of their time and energy to help lift others up long after they’ve established enough income to “retire”. They have a passion for helping and serving other people, plain and simple.

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