Leadership techniques: Know your prospects

posted in: leadership, Uncategorized | 8

I’ve noticed how people react to different leadership techniques.

I thought about this today when the pastor made an interesting observation during his sermon. He pointed out the difference between cows and sheep.

Creative Commons License photo credit: qhienle

Cows, he said, have to be prodded. Cowboys herd them in a direction by yelling, shouting and carrying on in various ways to make the cows move in a certain direction.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Antikris
Sheep, on the other hand, prefer to be led. They know the shepherd’s voice and follow him where he wants them to go.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with cows. That’s just the way they are. Similarly, sheep act the way they act because they’re sheep.

It got me thinking about how prospects act when presented with a home-based business opportunity. Some are like cows. They have to be cajoled into joining. Others, like sheep, are open to new experience and are willing to follow someone they know, like and trust.

This reminded me of two important keys to success in MLM or in most any business endeavor.

First, recognize when someone is hesitant. Trying to herd them into your opportunity probably won’t work. Even if you convince them, they’re likely to regret it later and either quit or shy away from doing what’s needed for success.

Realize, also, that there’s nothing wrong with folks like this. They often just need to make a decision on their own time. They might need more information or just need to think it over.

Second, be willing to lead when someone is willing to follow. If you’re open, likeable and trustworthy, it’ll show in your actions, your attitude and your voice.

As time goes on, these folks will need your confidence until they realize the success they need. There’s nothing wrong with these folks either. They just need you to show the way.

Using these important leadership techniques will greatly increase your chance of success.

Steve DeVane

8 Responses

  1. Rob

    Very good points and I like your comparisons here between cows and sheep. So true.

    Most people don’t want to lead. Most people prefer getting to know, trust and follow someone else. This is not to say they are not as smart or not as good…it’s just that it’s easier to follow than to lead.

    The problem with being a leader is that a leader is held to a higher standard. People are counting on their leader. So it’s incumbent for the leader to make as wise decisions as possible. And leaders can’t be afraid of saying they don’t know something or that they made a mistake. That will go a long way with the people who follow.

  2. stevedevane


    Yes, following is easier, but leading is the best way to accomplish your goals.

    I agree that leaders have to be willing to admit when they make a mistake. Having the strength to make that type of confession is one mark of a great leader.

    I appreciate the comment.


  3. Jim Hickey

    Hello Steve,

    Interesting points and analogies as to the way different people react when approached. From my experience, it seems that most people are hesitant and definitely need a level of interaction and dialogue with the focus on them and not necessarily on us. The principles of “Natural Selling” often work well in those situations. When interacting in that manner, we often quietly assume the position of leader or facilitator by maintaining the focus on them.

    Thanks for the insight,
    Jim Hickey

  4. stevedevane

    Hi Jim,

    Yes, interaction and dialogue are certainly needed. I’m a strong believer in the importance of establishing relationships. Natural selling can be a good tool for establishing those relationships. Listening is vital to such efforts.

    Thanks for your input.


  5. Vicki Zerbee

    I think it is easier to lead if you have someone who is willing to work and has the passion and drive for the business. Your two points go hand in hand, and if you learn to evaluate your prospects for those people who are interested and want to work, you will be much farther ahead.

  6. stevedevane

    Hello Vicki,

    I agree that evaluating prospects is key. I’ve found that learning how to identify someone’s personality helps me teach them their strong points. Once someone understands himself or herself, they are much better suited to reach their goals.

    I appreciate your comments.


  7. Simple Health Exercises

    Hi five folks – I had a Simula thought process when choosing staff within an industry I worked in some time back when interviewing to fill new posts – within minutes of the interview you could tell by some of the responses to easy laid out questions if that certain person would fit in to your team – some folks are so confident they shoot through like cow~boys – others just struggle through are more or less like sheep…

    All my best to you and your success
    Phillip Skinner

  8. stevedevane

    Hey Phillip,

    That was very perceptive of you to pick up on whether the folks being interviewed would work out on your team. It’s smart to think of such things ahead of time.

    Thanks for commenting.


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