MLM leadership takes many forms and has many different styles. How hands on or hands off should you be with your team? What are the best things you can do to influence the business building productivity and motivation of your team? Let us learn from the following story.
It was the middle of the Great Depression between 1924 and 1933. At the massive Western Electric plant called Hawthorne Works in Cicero, Illinois, (Chicago) the company began to conduct productivity experiments. Western Electric was the Apple of the day and on the cutting edge. Western was doing a lot of soul searching as to leadership, worker motivation and management.
“Scientific management” of labor was being questioned (time, motion and physical environment). The Harvard Business School was contracted to complete the experiments.
The Hawthorne experiments first involved lighting. Worker productivity increased when the lighting was changed. But, it didn’t matter how the lighting was changed(brighter/dimmer). Next music and temperature were altered. Same thing, productivity increased no matter what the change involved. The purely mechanical/physical/sensory aspect seemed arbitrary.
Long and short, at the end of all the experiments (and by other studies of the studies) it was concluded that worker motivation increased simply because someone paid attention to the worker. Often, during the studies, the workers were segregated. To them it seemed like management cared and treated them as special. At the end of the studies, with nothing special going on, productivity actually slumped to below normal.
The significant research conclusion was that the needs and motivations of the worker as a human being in relationship with other people, including leaders, was the most important factor in productivity. The “human relations” movement in leadership and business management was born.
Lesson in MLM Leadership
So what is the takeaway for your MLM leadership and what you can do to increase productivity of your downline? The obvious insight is that a silent MLM leadership style is not going to be effective. On the other hand, paying constant attention isn’t going to help either. Somewhere in the middle is a balance point.
Here are some practical tips for MLM leadership that are relational:
- Be available
- Give personal attention to your team members and leaders; be relational and let them know that you care about their success
- Whenever possible try to spend time with teammembers individually or in a small group: accompany them to a meeting, discuss business challenges over a cup of coffee
- Give compliments, advice and assistance
- Hold live events for training and save time to connect socially
- Let team members know you are “watching”―meaning you know how they are performing, and you genuinely care about them
- Check in on a variable schedule (in other words not fixed and predictable).
- Offer fresh insights and help to meet their particular needs
- Encourage and affirm their value on your team by edifying them to others
- Positively comment on actions taken in the right direction
- Encourage them to change the ring tone on their cell phone so they know when you’re calling (just kidding!)
To your Success!