It’s September 2009 I just landed in Moscow, Russia, it was my first time in Russia. I did not know what to think about Russia all I knew we were growing a big team in Pre-Launch phase and had several committed leaders. As I was patiently waiting in the customs line I was focused on how Grateful I was to have this upcoming experience…
So now it is my turn finally I go up to the window and show my passport…. which has my Russian Visa glued to one of the pages. Suddenly he calls someone and the Gentlemen asks me what I am doing in Russia… I quickly stated I was seeing some friends…. and wanted to see the beautiful city of Moscow plus had some business meetings… He then points to my visa and points to the expiry DATE…
OMG it shows that I need to leave in 2 days. My plan with the leaders was to stay for 9 days they were all extremely excited I made this commitment, they were waiting for this trip from me for over a year. Many events planned my schedule was jammed pack. Its an obvious error by the Russian Consulate in Toronto. The officer tells me emphatically, he can’t extend it and I need to leave Russia in 2 days ….
I can’t believe this, what I am going to do, I made a promise. I have come to learn as a leader you never break your promises, no excuses. I have seen to many times leaders who make promises and break them because at the time they want to tell people what they want to hear. In all cases not following through with your promises will destroy the biggest of teams. When Trust is lost more than likely you can never get it back….
The consequences of this now starts to permeate through my entire being, I know if I leave in 2 days more than likely I will lose this team, if I extend my trip past the visa expiry date there is a great chance I get arrested and thrown into jail. Growing up in North America we all are programmed into believing the Russian state is brutal, so the fear is so outrageous now I need to gather my self and focus on a solution.
So I gather my bags and walk out of the baggage department a group of women leaders are there to greet me with flowers and a loud ovation their energy is so infectious, it caused a major scene. I could not help but think , the people all around observing this were all wondering who is this guy getting greeted like this by all these beautiful strong women…..
As I get to the Hotel I sit down with the main leader Elena and I tell her my predicament, she responds in her broken English “Joe you can’t leave, it will destroy all our work the previous year”. I ask what will happen to me if I stay passed my visa expiry date. She does not know…..
Right then and there I made the choice, I am thinking to myself I made a promise and I will not break it, no excuses, I always follow through. So no matter the consequences I will honour it..
The 9 days were incredible( although it was difficult I tried not to think about the fear of the unknown and believe it was major fear) the team exploded with the help of my
European leaders Tomas & Garth who had driven the market with their visits, Russia became a monster for us.
No matter what the excuse, no matter how difficult things become, never break your promises to your team…. One of the top 3 leadership reasons organizations fall apart. I have personally witness teams into the 6 figures that have crashed and burned..
Our greatest asset in Network Marketing is our organization, always keep in mind it is very FRAGILE even in the best of times….