|Gregory L. Probert
In this month’s Executive Connection, Direct Selling News Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming speaks with Gregory L. Probert, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Nature’s Sunshine Products, about leadership, empowerment and transforming lives.
DSN: What is the one thing you enjoy most about being the Chairman and CEO of Nature’s Sunshine Products?
GP: Working with our fantastic distributors and hearing their inspiring stories of helping people transform their lives. The ability to personally connect with our distributors and customers is what inspires me.
DSN: While you’ve only been in your current position for a short time, you’ve been involved with the company for about three years. In that time, what has been your proudest accomplishment?
GP: I am very proud of the management team we have built. We have attracted many talented executives with long track records of achievement who have successfully teamed up with our veterans in the company. As with all great teams, it is more about working effectively as a team than about the skills of any one member. We have a very passionate, cohesive team that shares a vision for helping people improve their lives.
DSN: What has been most challenging?
GP: Finding ways to grow the company without changing what we stand for and staying true to our heritage of quality, service and integrity. We have a saying: It is OK to change what you do, but never change who you are.
DSN: What do you tell Nature’s Sunshine members to lead and inspire them?
GP: Never lose sight of why you joined Nature’s Sunshine—to help people live healthier, happier lives.
DSN: What is your vision for Nature’s Sunshine?
GP: To become the premier natural health, wellness and lifestyle company in the world.
DSN: Is there one basic principle that governs your leadership at Nature’s Sunshine?
GP: Empowerment. Surround yourself with great people, have a clear and shared vision of where you are going, and give people what they need to succeed and then let them shine.
DSN: Has someone ever given you a bit of really great advice you can share with us?
GP: My dad often told me, “Never ask someone to do a job you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself.” In other words, lead by example.
DSN: If you hadn’t become an entrepreneur, what career path would you have taken?
GP: Growing up in California, I was always surfing, swimming and scuba diving and would probably have become a marine biologist. My hero growing up was Jacques Cousteau.
DSN: Nature’s Sunshine has been in business for more than 40 years. What advice would you give an executive at a young direct selling company to help them achieve long-term success?
GP: Have a strong vision of what you want to be and never take shortcuts. Build a strong team; execute with excellence; and always remember that distributors are your greatest treasure and treat them that way.
DSN: What’s something that few people know about you?
GP: I love cooking and am a fairly decent chef. Perhaps my next career will be as a chef and restaurateur!