What is Leadership?

Posted by 22 May, 2009 (19) Comment


This is the first part of a series on leadership.

Leadership is a tough quality to define. When NFL scouts look at a prospect, they classify leadership as an “intangible.” Leadership is definitely a quality, while tough to define, is a trait that you’ll able to distinguish whether a person has “it” or not.

When you take a look around you and throughout history, the world has been fortunate to have been inhabited by a whole host of influential leaders. Some of the most admired leaders have been Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. What made these people such great leaders? Were they particularly great public speakers? Martin Luther King, Jr. undoubtedly was a great speaker, but I’m not sure the same can be said for Gandhi and FDR?

While leadership is certainly difficult to DEFINE, there are attributes that we can associate with signs of being a leader.

1. Visionary: A leader brings a vision to it’s group. It’s a plan by which others can FOLLOW. This vision brings the followers the emotion of hope and something the followers can strive to achieve. The vision should be clear and the leader should stand up for what the leader believes in.

“A leader is a dealer in hope” – Napoleon Bonaparte

2. Reliable: You don’t want to follow someone that shows up late or doesn’t do what they say they are going to do. In a leader, you want someone that’s reliable, with a message that people can follow. If leaders aren’t consistent if their efforts and their actions, it causes followers to begin to doubt the dedication of the leader to the cause. I can’t find a citation, but historian Doris Kearns Goodwin was recently on The Daily Show. She stated that during the Great Depression and during FDR’s tenure a citizen once said something to the effect of “I don’t have any money, don’t have a job, and I don’t have a reason to live, but I keep on going because I know FDR is there.”

“Deligating work works, provided the one delegating works, too.” – Robert Half

3. Audacity: It takes guts to be a leader. It’s not for everyone. Some people would prefer to tag along for the ride and that’s fine. Not everyone can or should be a leader.

4. Empowering People: Inherently, people want to do a good job. They want to succeed and make others happy. As a leader, you need to allow people to succeed. By empowering people, the leader isn’t doing the task for the person following the leader, but instead gives them the tools necessary to succeed.

5. Positive: Nobody wants to follow a person who is “doom and gloom.” A leader doesn’t need to be all about rainbows and sunshine, but there definitely needs to be a boost of positivity especially when tackling a difficult project or the “going gets tough.”

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

6. Motivating: If you don’t have the previous characteristics, it certainly isn’t very motivating for the follower to follow the leader let alone do a great job. A leader needs a vision, otherwise people don’t have a map and tend to get lost.

What do you think about the 6 characteristics of leadership I’ve given? Do you have any to add?

Photo by: Jim Bowen

Categories : Personal Development Tags :

Interview: 2 Million Dollars Made in Network Marketing – It’s All About Leadership!

Posted by 12 January, 2009 (0) Comment


We were pleased to have Bradley Bowden do an interview on Happiness Is Better. You can find Bradley on his humor blog, Outside My Brain or through Twitter.

1. Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a natural born leader whose strongest quality is motivation. I created S.A.V.E (Students Against Vandalizing Earth) at Azusa Pacific University, where I attended. This organization created unique ways for the University to utilize recycle programs, educated the student body on eco-friendly living and participated in a “Get out the vote” campaign for a California State Proposition.

I then began building one of the largest organizations in Pre-Paid Legal Services in 1992, which profited me well over 2 million. I then sold my extremely successful business in 2008.

I was also a very successful trainer with world renown Anthony Robbins. I was put on the fast track with Mr. Robbin’s organization and blew away the competition at every stage. My experience from Mastery University has equipped me to lead thousands through both personal and business successes.

I am also an accomplished key note speaker and excel at training individuals as well as groups in multiple areas of focus. I am also very well known in social media circles as “OutsideMyBrain”, which shows my lively personality. I continue to hone my skills and stretch my abilities beyond my imagination every chance I get. My sole focus is to help others succeed as far as they are willing to go.

2. You’ve said that you were in Prepaid Legal in the past. How were you introduced to Prepaid Legal?

I was introduced to Pre-Paid Legal by a friend. She took me to see a gentleman by the name of Woody Alexander. Woody simply recited the “If you were my attorney” story and showed me the compensation plan and I was hooked.

3. What attracted you to Prepaid Legal versus the other network marketing companies out there?

It was such a simple concept. The key to any Network Marketing venture is that it has to be simple to explain and not require a huge amount of storage space. Since PPL was a service, there was simply no product to store and the presentation was incredibly simple. I’m also a huge fan of the Stair-Step Break-away commission structure. It’s one of the only plans out there that let’s you work deep into your organization (if necessary) and not get pinched financially for it.

4. I was actually in Prepaid Legal myself for a while. I still have the service because I like having quick and inexpensive access to a team of lawyers. I don’t consider my Prepaid Legal endeavor a success. What do you think you did that allowed you to be as successful as you were and become financially independent?

That’s a great question and if answered correctly would take four pages, but I’ll try to boil it down to just the main points. The first thing that forced me to be successful, which sort of answers question #4 is that I went full-time right out of the gate. Now, I don’t recommend any doing this, because it can be very stressful, however, I had no other choice but to sit down, crank out the phone calls, go on appointments and get people to join me in the business.

I believe that constantly listening to motivational tapes and working on improving myself and making myself a better person also led to my success. If you want to attract better people into your business, you have to become a better person. The great thing is that you don’t have to completely change overnight. If you just concentrate on making a 1/3 of 1% improvement every day, your life will be 100% better within one year.

One of the other critical factors was always watching what I ate and working out 3-5 times a week. Your energy level has a lot to do with your success. If you are completely wiped out and tired all of the time, you won’t have the energy it takes to go the extra mile.

Again, I could write a book, just on this subject, but I will leave you with one more. “If it is to be, it’s up to me”. No one is going to build your business for you. And, most of the time, the people that you bring in to your business aren’t going to build it either.

I implemented a concept in my team called “Links and Leaders”. Everyone you come in contact with is either a “Link” or a “Leader”. A “Link” will connect you to either another “Link” or another “Leader”. Leaders are few and far between, so you will end up with far more “Links” than you will “Leaders”. However, you must have the “Links” to be able to find the “Leaders”. So, it is your job to work through each “Link” until, until, until, UNTIL you have found a “Leader”. Otherwise, that line will die off and you’ll have to go out and recruit another person to replace the one you lost. Working through means just that, find out who the person you brought into the business knows. Get in front of those people either in person, or over the phone. Once you get someone they know to join you, you do the same thing with that person’s warm market.

Once you have found a “Leader” (which I discovered is usually somewhere between 4-6 levels away from you – I had one strong leader that was on my 14th generation) then you invest your time into training that person, live with them if you have to. Make sure that they are successful and most ofthe time, you will end up getting the people above that “Leader” excited as a result of all of the activity in their organization. OK, that one was a bonus!

5. How long were you in Prepaid Legal before you were able to walk away from your job?

As I mentioned, I went full-time from the get go. As a result, I made $55,000 my first year, $96,000 my second year, $160,000 my third and it just continued to grow from there.

6. You have since sold your Prepaid Legal business. Why did you do that? It seems like lifetime residual income would be a great thing.

I sold the business for personal reasons. A life time of residual income is a good thing which is why I am launching my own company with my wife.

7. You are now starting a new chapter in your life. Can you tell us more about your new company?

The new company is called Green Shield International. We are building the world’s largest “Green” referral network giving individuals the opportunity to profit from helping people reduce their carbon footprints.

The fact remains that the majority of people in the world, 95%, do not enjoy sales. And, a good portion of them hate it. So, it is insane to assume that everyone that gets into your business is going become a super star (or do anything for that matter). However, everyone always tells their friends, neighbors and relatives whenever they have found a good deal, or purchased a great product that they really like.

So we are creating a system that allows people to “refer” people into the business, or just to purchase the products, without having to do the work/presentation. We are going to overlap a “referral “ structure with a Direct Sales structure. They will complement each other in the fact that the “referral” marketing will provide a never ending supply of leads for the Direct Sales team and the “referrers” don’t have the do the sales, but will get paid a “referral fee” whenever someone they referred purchases one of our products.

We are starting with products that will reduce people’s energy bills by more than the cost of financing the products. Therefore, there is really no out-of-pocket costs for our products, we are simply transferring money sent to the utility companies to our company in exchange for “green” products that when installed, will reduce the consumer’s energy bills by at least 25%.

Although we will be adding more products as the company evolves, we are starting with two main products. The first product is Radiant Barrier Reflective Insulation, which when placed on top of the existing insulation, or stapled to the rafters, reflects 97% of the sun’s radiant heat away from the home and it also keeps the heat in the home during the winter. Our second product is a Kilowatt power reducer which is installed on your electricity wires right before your meter. It reduces the amount of power that is sent through the meter without affecting the appliances in the home. In reality the surplus energy that is pumped into a home or business is wasted. This unit reduces the amount of power thereby saving the homeowner on their electricity bills.

8. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Did you know that to produce one Kilowatt hour of electricity it takes one pound of coal? The average family consumes 1300 Kilowatt hours per month. That’s 7.5 tons of coal per family per year. The residue from burning coal, termed Coal Ash, is worse for the environment than nuclear waste.

Although we will be initially launching the business in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex, we are out to change the world. To make it a better place to live and to give families the ability to earn extra income. Many individuals who see the vision could become millionaires with our company. So therefore, our motto (coined by my wife, Alison) is “Get Green – Going Green™”.

©2009 Bradley Bowden

Bradley Bowden

Bradley’s Contact Information:

Humor Blog: Outside My Brain
Self-Improvement Blog: Outside My Brain Again
Business Website Green Shield International
Social Media:
Bradley Bowden
Twitter: OutsideMyBrain
StumbleUpon: OutsideMyBrain

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Goals for 2009
Goals from 2008 – How Did I Do?
6 Reasons Why I Joined Toastmasters
Interview: Do You Have What It Takes to Own a Franchise?

Categories : Entrepreneur,Environment Tags : , , ,