Last Friday I got to meet the top income earner in It Works, Kami Dempsey, and I just wanted to hug her. Seriously. Granted, I'm a hugger by nature, but even with that fact out there allow me to explain before you think I'm some maniac.
Our team leaders, Liz and John Enter, had asked Kami if she would be willing to come to a One Team One Mission Wrap Party in Mankato, Minnesota. She graciously agreed to come, and that fact alone would have been amazing enough.
What made it even more special was the fact that Kami offered to spend the afternoon with just our team, and what a special three hours that was for us! She listened, inspired, encouraged, gave advice and so much more. At the end of the afternoon is when I found myself thinking, "I want to hug her, but I can't even explain why." After two days of mulling this over I figured it out.
Actually, the credit really goes to my husband Jesse. When we finally had a chance to sit down and talk about Friday and what I took away from it I was having a hard time putting it into words. While I was able to describe why she is a great leader, I couldn't quite find the words to say why the whole experience was so amazing. He nailed it on the head when he said, "Besides being a great leader, she is genuine and humble." That statement couldn't be more true. Being genuine and humble are different characteristics, yet at the same time they are closely related.
When you are the top income earner in a company you probably have the right to strut your stuff a little bit. I mean, you are at the top, right? You are the head honcho. Snap and people should come running. It just makes sense. For this leader, though, it was just the opposite. For the nine hours she was around us she gave her all to help us.
Kami is kind of like the girl next door. You instantly make this connection with her and you feel like you have known her forever. What a great characteristic of a leader...someone you can truly connect with and someone that takes the time to listen to you and give you solid advice. As our evening session got underway she pulled me aside and asked if I would take a picture of Liz and John getting the presentation started. After I took that picture I turned to her and asked her if I could take a selfie with her even though there was a time for photos later. She graciously said yes. We took the picture, and right afterward she turned to me and said, "Oh my word, I'm sorry. I have such horrible coffee breath." I just about died and wanted to give her a high five. Why? Because at that moment it solidified to me she is real.
This woman "gets us." She knows where we are coming from, the struggles we have and where we are trying to go. Kami was a former teacher and coach that had the goal to stay at home with her kids. She had the goal to help her husband make ends meet. This leader is listening, giving advice from the heart and truly wanting the best for each and every one of us.
It wasn't just the coffee breath statement that lead me to this conclusion, but everything else that was said during the course of the day. It was just her funny statement that brought it all together. At that moment I wanted to ask her if I had spinach in my teeth, but instead I offered her some gum.
And humble...wow. She makes six figures a month. Yes, a month!! One would never guess it. She gives all thanks and glory to God. Her faith is evident to all around her, but not in an "in your face" or showy kind of way.
During the Q & A session there were multiple times when she would say, "Personally this is how I would handle the situation, but you should really ask your sponsor/upline. Their philosophy might be a little different." That stood out to me a lot as well, because once again she could have taken the stand that because she is at the top her way is the best way. Yet, she didn't. A humble leader...truly wanting the best for everyone.
I don't want you as the reader to think I'm writing this as an obsessed Kami Dempsey fan. If you have, then the point of this blog has been lost. I wrote this to talk about leadership in its truest form. Kami is not the first leader I've known like this, but it just struck a chord with me so I wanted to share. You can have every leadership characteristic out there (hard worker, determined individual, knowledgeable, courageous, dependable, etc.), but at the end of the day your team or whomever you lead wants to know that you care about them. That you are with them day in and day out for their successes and their struggles. You are there to help them because you WANT to help them, not just because in the end it helps you.
The CEO of It Works is Kami's father. She talked about how she worked hard for what she has, that it wasn't just handed to her on a silver platter. I have never met our CEO (Kami's father), but I've heard him talk on multiple phone calls, presentations, videos, It is obvious Kami is a case of "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." Being able to meet Kami, spend time with our team and other It Works teams just solidified the fact that I chose the right company for me. They are passionate about helping others with their health and wellness, and they are passionate about helping each other grow. Days like that prove the point that this company is not a pyramid scheme. We are truly better together, no matter where we are in the company. I LOVE that, and I love our leaders.
Simply put...be genuine.
"People don't care how much you know
until they know how much you care."
- Theodore Roosevelt -