Click here to order the July 2015 issue in which this article appeared.
Years ago I heard Amway Co-Founder Rich DeVos say, “Never forget today is someone’s first day in business.” That is at the heart of my decision-making, and it has helped us grow despite inevitable changes in our corporate and sales field teams.
I’m reminded of this when I look at my two daughters. I have a 10-month-old baby and an 11-year-old, and they have different needs. Our representatives are like that; some are “babies,” some are “toddlers” and some are “teenagers.” You can’t treat them the same way or assume that they have the same needs or that they want to use the same tools. And you can’t forget the new people coming into the business every day, even when you have an established brand and lifelong leaders.
At times we were treating a new person and a seasoned person the same way, but they are very different from each other, whether due to age, race, gender, business experience or goal. This realization has helped us grow. We recognize their different needs while staying true to our foundation of helping others and sticking to our system regardless of their age or background.
Several years ago we recognized this and embraced it, and we have had more steady growth in all age groups in the last three years. Currently we have equal amounts of representatives who are in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s; that is a significant shift for us and has helped us have year-over-year, double-digit growth for the past three years.
We have always believed we were a company for all ages, races and backgrounds. Today, I’m proud to say that our field is more diverse than ever before, and we are attracting new leaders all the time.
The interesting part is that we haven’t focused on any one group. Instead, we have focused on being a company that helps all people and inspires their entrepreneurial spirit. We also have focused more on attracting good people, and welcoming people of all groups.
I believe that as a company we are more comfortable with who we are and what we do, and it shows. It is easy to get caught up in the next shiny object or company launch, and to want to be like that new company or have what they have. Yet, often what they have is unique to them and doesn’t fit the culture of the company you are in, so it doesn’t give you the same growth or results. Years ago we chased the fads and realized it wasn’t us. We are better equipped to take care of our company and our people by being the best Team National we can be. We believe in family, future and freedom. We are proud to offer a savings membership with an optional earnings program that helps people of all ages and backgrounds. Staying true to our core has helped our representatives be their best as well.
By being open to different needs but also staying consistent to our system we have attracted and grown leaders of various ages. For example, our millennial leaders still use the same system that other generations use, but they do it with technology and they move through the system faster to keep the attention of other millennials.
We have recruiting options and tools that fit people’s needs and meet them where they are. Each person chooses what is best for them but still uses our system to keep it consistent and duplicable, no matter where they live throughout the U.S.
Being open to change while maintaining consistency has served us well. As pastor, author and thought leader Andy Stanley suggests, “Write plans in pencil, write your vision in ink.” We’ve done just that. Our vision and foundation have remained the same; our plans have changed as needed.
I also took a cue from Andy Stanley and started asking a question of my corporate team as well as my top Team National leaders: “How can I serve you?” It is a great question that can help you grow in a variety of ways. When you openly ask your inside and outside teams how you can help them, you will hear great ideas that can give you ways to grow and improve. That question has helped us improve our customer service in the last six months because we wanted to serve our sales field better, and a leader shared where we could improve. We have often found that our top leaders love our company so much that they don’t want to make a suggestion for fear it sounds like complaining, but this question has helped us
We have shifted how we measure our growth when talking with our sales field. Instead of talking about how much revenue we brought in we have started talking about how many leaders we have at our top level and how we are growing this important aspect of our business. This shift is more of who we are, and it gets the sales field excited—it’s about them, not just a sales number.
We also have focused on working in our strength zone as a corporate team and as a company. There are areas of our business we have outsourced recently, such as our apparel line because we aren’t an apparel company and it’s not in our strength zone. This allows us to do what we do best, and this philosophy has really helped our corporate team as well. We have moved people around so they can focus on what they are great at, and it has made a difference in all aspects of our business.
Last but not least, we continue to focus on intentional personal growth for our company and our sales field. We do internal personal growth training monthly with our staff, we have weekly calls with our leaders, and we have videos, audios, social media content and more that help with personal development. This growth starts at the top. I quote the books I read and discuss the newsletters and subscriptions I’m reviewing with my team and on social media. I consider personal growth to be one of the most important aspects of what I do; if I am not growing then my team is less likely to grow. As the leader I must set the pace and be the example for the sales field and the corporate team. I believe if I want my team to run, then I need to run and cheer them on to join me. Personal growth has helped me overcome the ups and downs of business and life. It has made me a better person, friend, leader and mom. It is the extra ingredient that takes the ordinary to the extraordinary, and it has helped Team National grow in all areas.
Wishing you extraordinary results in 2015 that help you and your company be your best.
Angela Loehr Chrysler is President and CEO of Team National.