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Duplication: Passing the Baton - Peggy Long



Peggy Long

If you look up "duplicate" in Webster's Dictionary, you'll find that it means to make an exact copy of something. Let's say you had a son or a daughter that needed critical surgery, and you met with the surgeon right before the operation. If the surgeon said, "I have something new and innovative I'm going to try on your child," how would you feel? You would not feel much trust or confidence. You would want a proven technique to save your child's life - not a risky experiment.

That's what happens so often with duplication in Network Marketing. People get a new idea and want to try it rather than stay committed to a system. Mastery in the business comes from duplication - sticking with a system until you see the results you want. Through a great duplication system, people become leaders of leaders, and that's the real purpose of duplication.

Great duplication will create the residual income and the time freedom that everybody wants from Network Marketing. The only way to get there is by remembering TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More - and applying the fundamentals of duplication to a system that works.


Don't Rush The Process

One thing I share with leaders is that going for fast cash often leads to a fast crash. It's not how fast they come into the business, but how lasting they are going to be. Forget the word fast and use the word lasting. It takes time to have a lasting leader. Just having a fast leader is not the answer to permanent duplication.

Pat Davis, of Millionaires In Motion, teaches a great prospecting seminar and talks about those who try to make a grandmother out of a bride. They want the finished product - commission-generating grandchildren - overnight. They forget to allow a bride to experience the joys of a new marriage, of growing, and grooming for the role of parent first, then grandparent of duplication. You cannot rush those vital steps, and duplication absolutely takes time. The length of time varies for each person.

That's why, with integrity, it is absolutely critical and important that we let people know this is going to take three to five years to create residual income and time freedom.

Anne Landers wrote something I think is incredibly powerful - that people of integrity expect to be believed. They also know time will prove them right, and they are willing to wait. The waiting and the patience builds. As long as someone is actively working their business, it will come to pass. What we reap is what we sow. That doesn't say when the harvest is going to come through, and that's one of the most frustrating parts of this business for the majority of people.

I would rather have 15 steady plodders than one heavy hitter. I find that so-called heavy hitters seldom last. They jump from company to company, trying to get in on a "ground floor." I don't look for them and I don't want them. I want to take people who have commitment and willingness, and work with them on their belief, their integrity, and their leadership to create for them the lasting - not the crashing - business.



Commitment is crucial to the partnership of duplication. I agree to commit to certain responsibilities, and my team player agrees to commit to their own set of responsibilities.

Many people say, "I'm really interested, I want to, I hope, I want, I'm ready to be a master duplicator," but there is a huge difference between interest and commitment. When someone says that to me, I know they are not fully committed. When someone is just interested in doing something, they do it only when it's convenient, easy, and fits into their schedule. But when someone is committed to doing something, they will accept no excuses, no alibis, no justification, no rationalizations-- only results.

When I'm duplicating someone, I work only with commitment. Hopes, wants, wishes, likes, and interests have no power behind them. If you are going to really work this business, you need to put a commitment into it-- not a maybe, not a perhaps, not a someday, not I'd like, I want to, I hope it'll work. I'd really like to know: Does "someday" come right before Monday or after Saturday? I've never located "someday" on the calendar.

A committed leader needs to declare their commitment aloud to their sponsor and their team. It's not enough to say "I hope to be a diamond," or "I'm planning to be a leader in my company." They need to use the word "commitment" for its strength with the people they are coaching and duplicating down the line. I request and get an agreement that they are going to make declarations for other people to hear. A winner or a leader can always tell you where they are going. They say, "I am committed to earning my car in the next year" or "I am committed to being up to $2,000 a month in the next six months." When you say you are committed, the results, in time, will follow.

Denis Waitley uses a quote that goes something like this: Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.



Creating Partnership

Once someone makes a decision and is very clear that they have made that decision for themselves, without manipulation, then I do a clarity and commitment exercise with them. We sit down together within 24 to 48 hours of that decision, and we start working with their foundation, their value, their "why" to work the business.

At this point we are beginning to form a partnership, so I need to know how each person wants to work and what I need to do to support that. The most successful people in this industry have tremendous partnership with their people. I do a clarity and commitment session with everyone I personally sponsor, and the team members do it with their personally sponsored people, also.

This session involves sitting down together and answering the following questions together:

"What are you committed to achieving in this business?"

The purpose of this question is to get the person to dream about the tangible results of their work. The answers might be: I need a new car; I need to get my teeth done; I need money to put the kids through college; my parents need special care now that they're old; we need new furniture. Whatever they say is okay.

This is all about dreaming of what's possible for them through this business. Anything is fine. See it BIG!

"What income will you create in one year, in three years, in five years?"

Again, I need to see what they think is possible for them. I don't offer them any ideas if they ask what the "normal" person can do. I'll simply say, "Do you consider yourself normal?" I do not feed people answers.

Think of the proverb: Give a person a fish and you feed her for a day. Teach her to fish and you feed her for a lifetime. I coach people to find their answers on their own instead of relying on me.

"What will you do with your new wealth?"

This question starts to show their values. They think about what they would do with money after all their needs and basic desires are handled. How do they value wealth? It might be that they have a special project or charity to fund. Like the Yarnells say, find a purpose bigger than you are. I agree with them one hundred percent.

"Are you coachable with a teachable spirit?"

Most people are going to say yes. Then I say, "Share with me what that means to you." We're going even deeper into how I can best coach them. Sometimes people say, "I don't know if I can do that." I understand, but my question is: With coaching, are you willing to do that? Are you willing to have your closest friends, family members, and people that you meet along life's way become business partners and team members?

If they do happen to say they are unwilling or they refuse to accept coaching, then I simply say, "At this time, you are uncoachable, and that's okay. That's not bad. I can no longer work with you right now. I'm going to wrap up this conversation in just a moment. When you become willing to be coached - call me back. I'll be eagerly waiting to continue coaching."

I do not baby-sit. I do not solve people's problems. Too many Networkers baby-sit their new representatives, which does not bring out their greatness and does not further their leadership.

Most of those who were unwilling or uncoachable call me back within the next 24 hours or less. They know that I am there to coach them, to support them, to empower them, to contribute to them, to acknowledgment them, and to make a difference. They become willing to accept coaching by trusting my commitment to them.

"How much time a day, a week, and a month can you give to your new business?"

If it's five hours a week, great. Then I know, and we'll block out on their calendar exactly what those five hours a week are going to be. If they are able to do two hours a day (ten hours a week), then that's going to be a stronger time commitment on my side as their coach. However much they say, there's a different impact on the coaching. It's the same coaching, but of course, the more time they're able and willing to put into the business the faster and stronger it's going to grow, and I'll certainly communicate that to them.


"Are you 100 percent willing to give this business one to five years for success?"

This question is extremely important. They need to know that duplication is a process that is different for everyone - I never know how long it will be before someone is fully duplicated. As their coach and partner, I need to know that they have the staying power for lasting results.


"Can you see, with my skills and coaching, that together we can build your business?"

Many people are going to cover their fear, because, unless they have Network Marketing background, most people don't think that they can do it. This question eliminates the fear that they might have by reminding them of the partnership and giving them a foundation for building their belief.


"Do you see anything that isn't positive here, or win-win?"

I ask this directly, because if our partnership doesn't feel entirely like a positive, win-win agreement for them, they're going to come into the business without courage, clarity and conviction. I don't care if they have confidence yet, because that has to do with belief, and a coach is responsible for holding their belief level until they develop it for themselves, but they do need to be clear, courageous and have conviction.

By this point, 95-98 percent will say, "I see it as win-win." Then we put the dates in their calendar. They'll have a schedule of the weekly home or hotel presentations, call workshops and trainings, and based on how much time they are able to give each week, we figure out how many one-on-ones or two-on-ones we're going to be able to do.

Then I give them the names and phone
numbers of two or three upline people. The new representatives need to call the upline team and introduce themselves as new team players.

Why don't I have the upline call the new representatives? Because the more responsibility and accountability the new people take, the more they will own their businesses. Each new representative becomes a leader immediately.

Throughout this process, I ask my new partners to choose what will work best for them-- I know what kind of coaching I will give them depending on the time agreement and their accountability. Accountability is very important to duplication, and it starts with understanding our agreements and commitments.


You Can Count On Me


Finally, these are the most important words that can come out of a sponsor's mouth: You Can Count On Me. The new distributor needs to know fundamentally what's in it for them (WITHem) and that they can count on you (YCCOM - You Can Count On Me.) It's rare that someone hears that said so directly from anyone, but I let people know that when they are committed, they can count on me to stay with them and lend my skills, support, and coaching, so that together we can build their business.




I have a big bolt and a nut that I carry with me all the time in my coin purse. It's what I call a PTD - a Psychological Trigger Device. Whenever I pull it out, whether I'm in a training or getting caught in airport security (it is a pretty big bolt), I remember what it means to me.

A bolt has many threads on it, and in order for the nut to be screwed on the bolt, the threads of the nut and the threads of the bolt must be in alignment. They must perfectly match in order for the bolt and the nut to have any strength to hold a table brace, a chair leg or a bumper on a car. The threads in duplication come from four places: leadership, belief, commitment and integrity.

If any one of those four threads is not aligned, the representative and the team will not have the strength of duplication. What if someone has tremendous belief in their industry, their company, their sales compensation plan, and the product; they have commitment, they have leadership, but they lack integrity?

They don't follow through with their word. They miss appointments. They break agreements. These actions say to the team they are coaching, "I don't really care." Too many people have no commitment to keeping their word or following through on what they say. In duplication, that is one thing that I am absolutely inflexible about. When I say, "On This Rock I Stand and World You Will Adjust," what that means to me is that my integrity is impeccable and people and teams that I'm duplicating know that.

So I always ask, "What does integrity mean to you? Are you a person of your word? How do you feel when agreements are broken?" This is a business that is built on integrity and agreement - I need to know that my partners understand and embrace that. This does not mean that an agreement cannot be renegotiated, but for me there is no such thing as a partial commitment. There are several levels of commitment between "I won't do it" and "I'll do it." There is nothing wrong with any of those levels, but I put my effort into only one: I'll do it.

If people break agreements with me, I don't start duplicating with them again until they get back on track with their integrity. I stay in honest, heart-to-heart communication about when something or someone is out of integrity or commitment. If we stop the process of duplication, it is worth it to keep integrity intact. Recommitment is the way to keep integrity in a partnership, and this happens over and over in duplication until the trust isn't broken anymore.

This can sometimes create a lot of friction, but the team coming up through the ranks knows without a shadow of a doubt that their leader truly possesses sincerity, commitment, courage, and compassion. There is no need, ever, to compromise your integrity.


Passing the Baton

I was in Atlanta around the time of the 1996 Summer Olympics where one of the women on my Networking team had chosen to assist and support the relay racers from all over the world. She told me, "Peggy, you have no idea how much time and discipline is involved. I'm not talking days, weeks, months-- I'm talking years and years these relay runners practice passing the baton."

That baton has to be passed so responsibly and so strongly that the next racer can take it and not lose a single running stride. First, the batons have to be absolutely clean. Then they have powder toweled on in a special process so the baton can be more easily grabbed without slipping. The baton has to feel the same each time the runner passes it off - not slippery, not sticky, just easy to grip and release. Each runner has a responsibility to pass the baton without letting it drop to the ground or fumbling it and losing the Olympic medal.

The whole thing is duplication. We are passing the baton of leadership to the person we have chosen to coach in partnership. If a baton of duplication is not passed on responsibly, then you are going to lose a step in your business-building. If you lose too many steps, you drop out of the race altogether. Don't try to pass the baton to everyone who jogs by-- save your effort for responsibly duplicating leaders to run the race to the finish.

So many Network Marketers just keep saying yes, yes, yes to anyone near the starting line. They are ineffective in passing the baton of duplication, because their own attention is divided. They end up duplicating their own indecision and lack of focus, and they seldom manage to stay in the race. Many, in fact, burn out and drop out.

To pass the baton effectively to your leaders, you have to recognize the limitations of effective coaching. People call me and say, "I want you as my coach, I want you to duplicate me." I say, "I have my four teams now. I have a commitment to them that might last two years. I do not pick up any more in between."

I have no trouble saying no. I let them know they'll be on my waiting list, but there is no commitment from me until I finish one of the other teams. When I'm done duplicating a team, it has very successful income-earners and at least 10 to 20 strong, successful leaders.


Know When To Let Them Go

Perhaps you've heard the story about how an eagle raises eaglets: The parents spend months building a very soft, protective nest with lots of down and soft leaves. Once the eggs are laid in the perfect, cozy nest, both the male and the female sit on the eggs until they hatch. Then both parents take care of the new eaglets with careful protection and food until it's time for the babies to fly. Then the parent eagles begin to take the soft down and the soft leaves out of the nest. They just peck them out and let them drift away on the wind.

The nest starts getting very uncomfortable for the eaglets. Sticks protrude, poking them, and the bottom becomes weak and drafty. The eaglets know it's time for them to learn to fly. With the soft nesting gone, they have more room to flap their wings and get strong. The adult eagles will not allow the babies to fly until they know they are strong enough. Once a baby eagle flies and is strong enough, the parents never return to the nest again.

Why do I share that story with you?

In my experience, too many coaches or upline duplicators hold on to a team that they are duplicating for too long. They feel successful, acknowledged, recognized, and there is a lot of satisfaction there, but unless the eaglets of duplication fly, they will never be strong. Once someone has the skills, the knowledge and the results, I totally let them go. They know they can always return with a question or if they want to hone a skill, but once my eaglets of duplication are gone, I don't hear from them very much.

This frees me to duplicate others, but also frees them to become true leaders in their own right. It's important when people are fully duplicated to put them out there so that they can be recognized as the leader for their group. When my husband Gary and I were doing a duplication tour, a nice man in Sydney, Australia, gave me a button to wear, saying that I "truly exemplified" what it meant to him. The only thing on the button was a big "#2." It means put others first and yourself second, and I wear it often.

Once representatives are fully duplicated, they no longer need me. They are now the leaders of the leaders that they are duplicating on their team. Corliss Smith Tang, the key leader I duplicated in Hawaii, always uses the phrase that captures it perfectly: "Let them go and they will grow."


PEGGY LONG has been involved in Network Marketing for years. She is a representative of 21st Century Global Network and an Upline Master. This article has been adapted from her first book Like A Rock. She lives in Cave Creek, Arizona and spends five months each year on a Canadian island.

2000 update: Peggy has a new book, On This Rock, available from Upline.

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Reprinted with permission from Upline, Duplication - October 1998, 888-UPLINE-1,