First it was a farmer. Then it was accountants and engineers. Then it was doctors and teachers. And for a while it was the MBA. Now it is lawyers. (There are more lawyers in law school in the United States than there are lawyers in the rest of the world.) Throughout the short history of our country, certain professions have been held in the highest regard and pursued as the Holy Grail of careers. Each had its own contribution to moving our society forward.
The contribution of farming and engineering in crafting this great country is clear. And certainly accountants, doctors and MBAs have created their own breakthroughs in modern day living. And yet as we look at the state of business, politics, and education even sports and religion there is one huge missing. A missing that is the source of the parts of our society for which we are ashamed.
Business. It used to be that the biggest failure of business was its disregard for the environment or its workers. Today, it has expanded to the public at large, and especially the investors. There seems to be no bounds over which business will cross for profits especially personal profits for the top executives.
Education. Certainly we have the best system for the elite. Yet something is missing if most high school graduates are not able to read or write at an acceptable enough level to be employed by a responsible business. (I know this from the hundreds of people we have interviewed for our businesses that lack the most basic skills).
Religion. Some of our biggest scandals continue to come from organized religion.
Sports. Our national pastimewhere we have made winning so important that we will tolerate cheating, drugging and all-out riots.
Politics. Suffice to ask: In the last presidential election, how did you feel about the two candidate choices we had to lead the most important country in the world? Did you feel like we had our best feet forward, or were they in someones mouths?
Enough cynicism. What is missing?
Leadership is missing. A new paradigm that is born in service, contribution, courage, independence, authenticity, listening, compassion, stewardship and love. One that is based in high self-esteem, not arrogance; that practices integrity, not popularity; that just plain does the right thing for all involved.
We need leadership that goes beyond being just an academic concept and, instead, becomes the next Great Profession. Imagine your children pursuing a career in it. A career wherein they learn to embody the values and arts of listening, empowerment of others, stewardship and service, integrity (walking their talk), truth telling and being a card-carrying visionary.
Leadership is the most important profession. It is the only profession that can lead society to change. Change our values. Change our priorities. Change our tolerances. Change our minds. Change our hearts. It makes us or breaks us, yet as a society we do not even see it as a profession.
Just as we have seen in our lifetimes the significance of the family farmer/rancher lose footing, we will also see other industry-based professions fade away. We have invited more technological advances into our lives in the past 50 years than in the entire history of mankind. There is only one profession that can be mandatory in this ever-changing world.
Leaders will be seen more and more as the solvers of the problems of business, religion, politics and education. Not lawyers, not accountants, not even teachers or doctors. Leaders will be the only professionals that can transcend any industry or any art and organization and lead it to solve its problems problems brought on by being run by something other than leadership.
Professional leaders will be the most sought after, highest paid, most respected, most trusted, and most admired profession of the 21st century. Get ahead of the curve. Encourage your children to study it, practice it and pursue mastery in it.
Leadership is simply the art of influencing people to move in a direction on their own initiative they would not normally move. Those of us involved in Network Marketing have an extraordinary opportunity to practice this art. Few industries require such skills in vision, motivation, listening, empowerment, service, courage and accomplishment.
We are in the profession of herding cats, if you will. Anyone that can attract, organize and motivate a group of MLM volunteers can move mountains in traditional business and other organizations. Our countrys future leaders could, and very well should, come from those who embraced leadership as their profession because in their pursuit of building their very own MLM empire, they had to. Leadership in our business is everything.