Once upon a time I worked for a company called Amway. Little did I know then that their pay off line was the “Why” us marketers get challenged to help business figure out so that our employer and brand marketing can generate increased sustained revenue. Helping People Live Better Lives. This was once the reason why I woke up every morning and did what I did.
I had the most amazing several years working for them. I told the stories and impact in all my job interviews to follow. I saw people go from zero to hero through leadership. Amway is the vehicle that supports great leaders building other leaders. These are our ABO’s! Our business owners build leadership and people so that the business they have can give them a sustained future. Reward and recognition is one of the cornerstones to great leadership and this is done regularly with HUGE fanfare because the leadership effort is truly worthy.
Think John Maxwell… very familiar with our business and we’re very familiar with his teachings. I was introduced to John Maxwell at Amway and it was here that I got my first taste of leadership. I was inspired to conquer the world! Amway had prepared me and given me all the tools to be great. So I resigned and left.
I had built an impressive track record. Using my agency contacts I grew their PR exposure by millions of rands through trade exchange agreements, secured sponsorship deals with African Fashion International as the exclusive cosmetics supplier, launched Double X which was endorsed by the world’s fastest man, Asafa Powell (such an incredible story behind this sponsorship) and presented at large scale events. I was empowered, enabled and given the most incredible and diverse experience. They wanted me to succeed and supported both my success and failures. I learned to fail forward and fast. I learned how to be an optimist and to persevere. I discovered quotes I live my life on and ten years later have the same purpose for my life as Amway does! I want to help people live better lives.
Think Apple. Think Amway.
With globally recognized brands like Artistry and Nutrilite that compete with industry premium and giant brands – I get to enjoy working not only with great people, but great brands too!!
Coming home today felt like just that! Coming home!
I spent a decade in corporate trying to achieve what comes naturally in this environment. Leadership is consistently done with heart and through intimate relationships. They’re efficient and organised. They deliver; they’re reliable and supportive. They care and pay attention to the detail. It’s the small things that count at Amway. It’s real. Their is no ego and if there is one – it quickly suffocates with the air of authenticity. HR executives sitting in corporate and new employees will appreciate my experience yesterday.
1. George and Andrew were the most friendly, warm and happy security guards I have ever met! Welcoming me and personally escorting me to where I needed to be. There was no reason for me to feel lost in the building I had help put together in CAD drawings. It had been built! And my tree was standing in the middle of the building! JP from OnePointZero and I had a lot of fun putting this together. John Tager with his energy and enthusiasm grew a love and passion in me for development and 3D brand experienced I will forever cherish.
2. Nuraan, the HR head for South Africa and a team of incredible Amway staff put together a personalized board with my name and a welcome message on their for me as I entered the office.
3. My favorite flowers were waiting for me on my desk along with my laptop and work cell phone.
4. All my equipment, profiles, login, passwords and connectivity had been setup. I received an email a week prior with all the details I needed. Impressive. I am privileged to be mentored by great HR Execs and Directors in South Africa who were as impressed as I was. It comes as no surprise that the people who work in this business have been doing it for so long! It’s a great place to work.
5. My week has been planned. From lunch to meetings, staff profiles and financials. The rest of the detail has been well thought through with sufficient time to make sure I am set up for success. They’re not throwing me in the deep end? No!
6. I had a delicious lunch with my new boss, former colleague and a gentleman I have admired since starting at Amway. Raj Parshotam. It’s time our local leadership and CX conferences invited this man to speak. He’ll inspire a room PLUS get you up off your seat and moving to deliver! He’s an incredible GM and leads this business in a way that inspires us all to be better, do better and to do so with integrity, direct honesty and living the leadership values we all get taught in books! He has the multiplier effect Liz Wiseman speaks about!
7. I saw some familiar faces and some new faces. I was greeted with such warmth, hugs and high fives. Some even got dressed up to make a first impression. It worked. I was humbled.
The past decade has blessed me with the most amazing experiences and contacts across a multitude of experiences. I am truly grateful for the leaders that have managed me, developed me and grown me into the person I am today. I have been stretched to the Nth degree and have a truck full of leadership lessons, mistakes and stories that have made me stronger and hopefully wiser. It’s prepared me for this new chapter in my life, this exciting, new – yet familiar challenge.
So my first day back home I can’t stop talking about. I’m happy. I missed home and it feels great to be back. It feels great to have an aligned purpose to what’s inside of me and to face the type of challenge that deals with the heart of our country.
What do I need to do to help people live better lives?
To have this question on my mind every day gives me an incredible sense of joy, inspiration, peace and a determination to succeed – not for me but for millions of people in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The rest of Africa – we’re coming for you!
Home. Sweet home.
Amway. Helping people live better lives!