Direct Selling Leadership According to Harry Potter

from Sarah Robinson 

Hello Everyone!

In today’s post, I thought I would share two very important things you need to know about me: 1) I am a Harry Potter junkie and 2) I am fascinated by lessons in leadership.  As we get to know each other over the coming weeks, months and years, you will hear about both of these topics and how they relate to my business and the businesses of Direct Sellers.  So here it goes!

I am such a Harry Potter fanatic that I’ve even been sorted (into to Gryffindor, thank goodness) AND I just finished reading the last one for the second time.  What is it about these books that is so mesmerizing? They are wonderfully written, that is for sure. But to me, they are jam-packed with business and life lessons that are wonderfully insightful. Here are five of my favorites that can apply to anyone in business, but most especially those who are or want to be in a leadership position in their direct selling company: 

1. Courage looks a lot like fear
Every time Harry must face Lord Voldemort or one of his cronies, he never feels particularly brave. In fact, he is downright terrified. He knows that he is facing a wizard with far more power, skill and training than he could ever hope to have. Does that means he just gives up and says,”I’m scared, so I’ll just throw down my wand and call it a day”? Nope. He feels afraid, keeps his wits about him and celebrates victory after victory, while He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named scratches his head at being outsmarted. 

2. Even heroes and celebrated leaders aren’t perfect
Dumbledore admits time and again, how imperfect he is. He tells Harry that he’s made mistakes; mistakes he regrets. Harry himself is about as imperfect a hero as there is. He’s moody, grumpy, confused and without a plan most of the time. What makes Dumbledore and Harry great is that fact that they admit their weaknesses (eventually) instead of trying to hide them or pretend they don’t exist. This is called “transparency” and is a critical quality in any successful business leader. 

3. In the end, arrogance will defeat anyone looking simply for fame and glory
Voldemort thought he was all-knowing and all-powerful and that Harry was simply “lucky”. In his supreme arrogance, he overlooked the power and magic of Love because it seemed too trivial to be bothered with. By failing to grasp that Love (and I mean the real, true kind, not the fake kind and I know you know the difference) gave Harry his protection and his power, he sealed his own doom. 

4. A leader is only as great as the glue that holds the team together
Voldemort’s team was built on fear. Fear of not measuring up, fear of not doing enough to gain his favor, fear of doing the wrong thing. The consequence for falling out of favor with this guy was certain death. Now there’s some motivation for you! Harry, by contrast, built his team based on love and loyalty. He chose unlikely companions in Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Luna. They weren’t the most popular, sparkling, successful kids in school – far from it. But they understood things like encouragement, bravery, loyalty, humility, persistance and most of all – love. And it was love that pushed Harry to walk out into battle prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to save all that mattered to him. Which team would you want to be on?  

5. There are some battles – usually the most crucial – that a leader can only fight alone
Okay, so the team we choose matters and the environment we create for them matters. And those elements can take a leader and her cause a long, long way. But then, because we love our team so much, there are battles we know we must fight alone. We could hide behind them or let them do the work, fall in battle and take the blame. Voldemort does it all the time. But not Harry. He willingly steps up to the plate and faces a battle he knows only he can fight (well, he’s almost alone, but I won’t spoil that part!). He puts himself on the line and is prepared to bear the consequences because, ultimately, that is what a good leader does.  

So there you have it. Five of my favorite direct selling business leadership lessons from Harry Potter. There are more to be sure. If you find yourself thinking these don’t apply to you or your world, think again. Anyone who knows the struggles of being a leader has much to learn from a boy wizard named Harry Potter.

If you are looking a set yourself apart as a leader, I invite you to check out Profit, Purpose and Beyond: a Nine Week Virtual Speakers Series for Direct Selling Leaders.  T. Harv Eker, Les Brown, Tom Barrett, Cynthia Kersey, Michael Port, Kim Fulcher, Kristie T., Marcia Wieder and John Fleming will be presenting in an intimate setting just to direct selling leaders and they will answer your most pressing questions!


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