It has been said, “Success leaves clues.” So why not learn from people who are “successful” however they may define themselves.
While I highly disagree with most gang behavior and actions there is some truth to the statement I will make here:
Gang leaders know how to organize groups of people, inspire them to work for something beyond themselves, and create an organizational brand that is powerful, unmistakable, and clear.
Here are 5 tips we can take away from Gang Leaders that, when incorporated into our own lives and companies, will enhance our success and improve our culture.
1. Know Your Objective
I do not recommend you adopt the same objective of a gang member. I do recommend you get clear on what you want to create and what your aim is. Clarity brings power. It is only when we are truly clear on our objectives that we are able to articulate clearly and communicate with people on their terms.
For example, let’s say you just began a network marketing business. You are now the head of your organization and with this responsibility you must be clear on your objectives. Are you building a team of “go getter’s,” are you serving people with health issues, or some other aim? The clearer this is for you and your team the easier it will be to pull in the right people. Your objective begins a culture. This begins the “badge of honor” your people feel when they join you.
2. Provide Coaching and Education
Any gang leader will tell you that the best use of their time is spent in developing their teams–this is true for any leader in any organization. People and their development are the most important asset of any company. The people within your organization must feel that you “have their back” at all times. Without this and you begin to breed subordination and possible mutinies.
In our organization, as we lead and educate people, they may very well enter out of their comfort zone. It is at this critical time where we must be behind them 100% to coach, encourage and congratulate. The people we lead will feel this and become incredibly loyal to us because they know they have protection in our organization.
3. Create a Sense of Belonging
Gang leaders know that when people are accepted, unconditionally, they become great team members. People who were poor at school or experience a disability open up anytime someone accepts them as who they are. It is our job to find out where they fit within our organization. And when we have them in the right place they will thrive.
Do you have team members who are not adept to making cold calls and striking up conversations? They may however have a talent of creating websites or marketing documents. Use people’s gifts and talents and love them unconditionally and you will experience loyalty within your organization. Welcome everyone like a family member and you will have generated a sense of belonging. We are all seeking this as part of being human.
4. Use Power to Serve
Gangs use power to intimidate. Power has seduced humans for eternity. When we use power to serve others we create a strong culture that is positive. Again, there is a distinction to be made here. Gangs use power to intimidate people into action, however, we can use power to influence people into action for themselves.
Power comes from the companies we represent or the capital we have backing our start-up. Another word for power is certainty. Will the company or cash be there to back us up? No one wants to venture out onto something new, unless they are true pioneers (and there are only a few of these). When people join a company, whether as an employee, distributor, or partner, they want to see power. They want to feel certainty that this is the best decision possible for them.
5. Use Language and Rituals
The final tip here is to really develop your own culture. Create nicknames or various rituals to keep people bonded. High fives work well as a ritual. Different cheers can work or if you are more practical, use mission moments, phone conferences, or other venues to discuss successes within your organization.
Every company has rituals already. As leaders we want to be intentional about them, create something unique, and get people ingrained with them. Rituals will solidify a group, increase a person’s sense of belonging and when done right they are just fun to do!
Gang life is unhealthy. It is usually filled with hate, vengeance, and drugs. However, when you engage people with love, support, and in service, you can utilize the powerful tools gangs use to bring in new people all the time.