Leadership is a big topic in direct sales. This means everyone has an opinion about it. But if you’re new to leading a downline team, you probably want to know how to become a better leader as quickly as possible. The following shortcuts will save you a lot of agony and help you avoid common leadership pitfalls.


Shortcut #1: Don’t micromanage. Good leaders in direct sales inspire their team. Even more, they equip their team through direct sales training. But the best leaders in direct sales go a step further—they avoid micromanaging their downline. If you micromanage good team members, you’ll push them away. And if you have team members who must be micromanaged, then you should probably ask yourself if these individuals are actually team members.

Shortcut #2: Be gracious. Members of your downline team will make mistakes. When they do, don’t go ballistic. Help them learn whatever lesson there is to learn and then help them move on. Remember, the Golden Rule is to do unto others what you hope they would do for you.

Shortcut #3: Strive to grow. In direct sales, the best downline teams are led by the best upline leaders. Great upline leaders set the pace. They realize if they’re ripe, they’re rotting. So instead they stay green and growing.

Shortcut #4: Stay in the game. Training speakers in presentation skills and the business of speaking is part of what I do in business. Interestingly, something that sets me apart from many others who do this type of work is I’m actually a professional speaker. In other words, my speaker training isn’t theory. Each week I actually do what I teach. In the same way, if you want to lead your direct sales team, stay in the game. Personally do what you teach your team to do because what you believe in is evidenced by how you live, not just by what you say.

Shortcut #5: Put your team first. Arnold Glasow shared great insight on how to become a leader who puts his or her team first when he said: “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.” Well said!


Question: Which shortcut for how to become a leader resonates most with you and why?