The Six Week Action Course - Interview with Pat Davis
Last summer at the Masters Seminar in Bellevue, I had the opportunity to participate in the "breakthrough" sessions with each Networking Master. During his session, John Kalench, founder and President of Millionaires in Motion, answered a question with examples from MIM's Six Week Action Course. He started to move on, but the room was captivated-- the Six Week what? Pat Davis, the CEO of MIM who was also in attendance, gave a brief summary, but the participants were so interested in the idea of a six-week system for massive action, they kept asking questions about it for nearly half an hour. Fascinated myself, I decided to call Pat and get the scoop for the rest of you on what the Action Course is, and, more importantly, what makes it work? And how can you incorporate that into your business-- starting now? --Uma Sackett
Pat, would you explain what The Six Week Action Course(TM) is exactly?
The Six Week Action Course is a system for reaching your goals in your Network Marketing business. We've found that one of the things people struggle with the most in our industry is setting and achieving goals, and the Action Course provides a framework for doing that, for building momentum within a group.
You start by getting a minimum of two and a maximum of six people together who are willing to form a team and be accountable for six weeks. If there are more than six, then you start another team. Initially, you all meet and set individual goals. While this isn't about competition, each person will be measuring their achievements along the way and contributing to a team score.
As a team, you choose a team captain, a time and a place to meet each week for approximately three hours. When a group has multiple teams going, sometimes one will meet in the living room, one in the dining room and one in the kitchen of somebody's home. One organization who did the course had 20 teams of six people who all came together once a week in a hotel meeting room. Each member has a manual, workbook, and an Action Map-- sort of like a treasure map just for the course-- to guide them through the process.
The weekly sessions are divided into two parts: The first involves collecting each member's weekly statistics, calculating the team's statistics, and holding an open discussion, led by the team captain, about how to improve results. The second half of the session is devoted to training. People pick topics like prospecting, duplication, follow-up, retailing, a particular product-- it's up to you. It's an opportunity for everyone to get creative.
There are really three things that we stress the most, and this is right out of the manual:
- Each member must have clear and meaningful goals-- no "wishy-washy" concepts here. Focused goals are a must!
- They need to be able to communicate to the team how they will measure their weekly progress towards achieving those goals-- in other words, their goals must be quantifiable!
- They must have identified and listed specific projects that they plan to complete over the next six weeks that will make their goals a reality.
These are the areas where breakdown usually occurs for people, but when teams are completely clear on these three vital areas from the first session, their results are phenomenal. One leader in Toronto said his organization actually doubled from 800 to 1,600, and he was doing less work because, with a number of teams going at once, people started being accountable to each other and new leaders emerged.
What is it about this system that makes it work for people?
The real secret of the Six Week Action Course is what happens when a group of people come together for six weeks with commitment, accountability and focus. The synergy that develops propels the whole group. I greatly admire Brian Biro's work with team synergy, and we use his enabling questions to get people going:
- What's the greatest team you've ever been a part of?
- In your mind, what made it such a great team?
- How did it make you feel to be part of that team?
- What do you think you contributed to that team?
- What did you receive in return from that team?
- If you could capture that kind of team synergy again and apply it to your Network Marketing business, do you think you'd become bigger and better as a result?
The feelings that come out of people when they talk about what it meant to be a part of a team are all the wonderful qualities of a human being. They all start off excited to recreate whatever personal experience they had with each other, and it works! You can just imagine what it was like in that room with 20 groups of six all working together, I mean talk about dynamic-- it was electric!
Everyone in the team, of course, needs to have complete personal commitment to their goals, and when they do, applying focused, massive action for six weeks is like holding a magnifying glass over them-- the light gets so hot that a fire starts. Most people can commit to putting the pedal to the metal for a six week period, too. It's short enough that it doesn't feel like forever, and long enough to really see results.
Accountability within the team is built into this system. You measure your own integrity in keeping your word about what you say you'll accomplish, and everyone's percentage goes into the team score-- if you said you'd do ten things and you only do five, you only contribute 50 percent. It helps people be more responsible when they say they're going to do something.
We do an Action Course every three months at MIM, and I remember the first time I did one, I was very ambitious. My first week I gave myself 16 "To-Dos" in addition to everything else I was doing, and when I came to the meeting, I'd completed 12. Everyone said, "Well, Pat, your integrity score this week is 70 percent." I noticed that everybody else had set five or six goals and I had done 12, so I protested, "I did more than you guys did!" John pointed out, of course, that integrity is about doing whatever you say you'll do. After that, I got more done in that six weeks than I ever had before. It's a powerful shift to make in how you live your life.
In addition, the way we do goal-setting seems to make the process much easier for people. What's important is to have a meaningful goal that allows you to statistically measure your progress each week. We suggest choosing a goal category, like sales volume, achievement level, special incentives, or personal income, then specifying what the actual goal is. Then you brainstorm with the other team members to come up with the specific actions you'll take to attain the result. We use a series of worksheets that make tracking team stats and personal results easy.
What's great about doing this with a team is that when everyone comes together once a week, you get to hear and share success stories, and if necessary, get back on track with the support of the others.
Has it worked for distributors who are at different levels to work together on the same team?
Absolutely, because you set your own goals. One of the big benefits of doing something like this is that when a new person comes into the business, being part of a team not only moves them forward faster, but it gives them a sense of achievement even before they are earning checks. They're working with people who are farther along than they are, and that reinforces their belief in Network Marketing.
We've also had crossline people who were all at the same level working together-- sometimes a group of top leaders in a company get together and hit a whole new level of success by doing an Action Course. So there's something to be said for both ways.
In some cases, especially when several teams are working together at one location, team members have invited guests to sit in and observe. It's a great way for prospects to see people being successful and what kind of support would be available to them if they got involved.
We discourage teams from letting new people join once the Action Course is underway, though, because it can disrupt the synergy. Everyone benefits more if they've all been there, committed, from start to finish. If new people get interested, they can start a new team! Because it's a system, once people learn it they tend to repeat it again and again. It changes how people approach their businesses.
PAT DAVIS is the CEO of Millionaires in Motion, Inc. and facilitator for the Smart Prospecting workshop. Prior to her involvement with MIM, she was United States Vice President of Sales for a $300 million dollar international Network Marketing company. Pat has been involved in Network Marketing for 25 years-- she started her own part-time Networking business to earn extra income as a young mom, and went on to become one of the company's top leaders and a multi-million-dollar producer. For information on MIM, call 800-388-1748.
Reprinted with permission from Upline, Davis Feature - January 1999, 888-UPLINE-1, http://www.upline.com