Why Teamwork Works by Paula Pritchard

Paula PritchardAs Michael Jordan says, “Talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”. I have been building network marketing businesses for 25+ years and I’ve come to realize that there are two philosophies that operate in network marketing. One of these philosophies creates teamwork and cooperation and the other destroys teams and creates unhealthy competition. Let’s start with the first philosophy: teamwork and cooperation. Teamwork is something I’ve taken for granted in network marketing.

I always built my organizations with a teamwork mentality.

Maybe that came from my background because I always loved sports, especially team sports. The idea of strategizing and working with others toward a common goal was always more exhilarating for me than individual sport activities.  NULL I loved the synergy it created. In fact Stephen Covey, the author, once stated that, “Synergy is the highest activity of life”. I guess that is why it creates so much energy and excitement. Recently I watched a Stevie Nicks interview where she addressed this very thing. Even though she had been successful as a solo artist as well as a member of Fleetwood Mac, she felt that success as a part of a successful group was much more fulfilling than success as a solo artist. I could totally relate.

I have facilitated the concept of teamwork, first by example.

When I join a company I am always willing to work with people sideline to me. I will share ideas, and invite them to meetings I am doing and even attempt to do some joint events and calls.

I believe in abundance there is an unlimited supply of prosperity and success for everyone.

Your success does not mean that I, in some way, have less of a chance at success. Abundance is like getting a cold. There are plenty to go around. There is no lack, you just the need to put yourself in a position to catch one.

I have also created teams by encouraging my front-line people to work together, to exchange phone numbers and e-mail addresses, and to strategize together.

In one company I built an organization of 200,000 people across 15 countries. I had developed a system of doing business, including outlines for meetings and opportunity presentations that the entire organization used. No matter where you were in the organization, all meetings were open to you. I only worked with people who were willing to the apart of the team. It is because of my building of these teams that I believe people have followed me, some for as long as 20 years. They have enjoyed the fact that they are part of a team and they are valued. They are encouraged and supported, not just by those in their upline and down line, but also by those sideline to them. This is not to say that I don’t encourage competition, but I want it to be good-natured competition. For example, I sometimes tease one group that another group is moving ahead but it’s always done in a humorous way and always followed by, “How can I help you to catch up and move ahead?” I have done mentoring sessions and put together teams who worked together over a six-week period to earn points and to win prizes like portable DVD players. It was fun and exciting for the distributors to compete with each other but when it was over, everyone was back to working together. Vince Lombardi said, “People who work together win”.

The greatest destroyer of teams is found in the second philosophy – unhealthy competition.

There are network marketing leaders and company owners who use this with their distributors. It is the leader or owner who calls you and tells you how great another distributor is doing and implies in a subtle way that you are not quite as good. For most people this doesn’t motivate but rather de-motivates. They pit one front-line leader against another. They pit upline against downline. I heard one company owner tell a downline distributor that they were more than 50% of their upline’s business; essentially telling them that their upline was not as good. I have heard leaders share negative stories about one of their distributors with another distributor, trying to make one feel good at the other’s expense. This kind of negativity and competition breeds an attitude of lack that there is not enough to go around and I better get mine before you steal it. It causes distributors to be unwilling to share their ideas or their help with others. This lack of cooperation serves no one. It wasn’t until four years into network marketing that I really experienced the total antithesis to teamwork; competition at all costs, the end justifies the means and the divide and conquers mentality. I met people to whom winning was everything. There was no team. Everything revolved around competition, someone losing and someone winning. I met people whose egos were out of control and team was not a part of their vocabulary. These people don’t usually last long in network marketing. They usually crash and burn. If they do make it in their present network company, then they better pray it doesn’t go away because people will never follow them into another company.

People want to follow people who make them feel valued and appreciated and only the first philosophy can do that.

In fact, I was involved in a company whose UK Managing Director was very skilled at the divide and conquer strategy. As long as he could keep the leaders divided then he maintained power. His individual power was more important than the company’s success. In the end he was fired. Teamwork is so critical in network marketing that it almost makes me think we should call it teamwork marketing instead of network marketing. This is definitely a business of duplication. If you are a team player, you will create team players.

If you care about others and their success first, you will never have to worry about your own.

Years ago when Michael Jordon was a freshman at the University of North Carolina, his coach Dean Smith told him, “If you can’t pass, you can’t play”. Years later, Michael was quoted saying, “Talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”. Make teamwork a primary focus in building your business. As H.E. Luccock said, “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra.”


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