Have you ever wondered what makes an excellent affiliate program manager? What characteristics should one strive to possess to succeed in this capacity?
In the course of over twenty-five years two luminaries of the organizational leadership, James Kouzes and Berry Posner, have been studying the characteristics of admired leaders. One of the methods they used was a survey with an open-ended question: “What values, personal traits, or characteristics do you look for and admire in a leader?”
Several hundred different traits and characteristics were gathered, analyzed, and documented. The striking part was that in the course of decades some of the same characteristics were consistently brought up regardless of the countries and continents where the survey participants lived. These top four characteristics were: (i) honest, (ii) forward-looking, (iii) inspiring, and (iv) competent. As obvious from the table below, these four scored significantly higher than the other ones mentioned:
Top 15 Characteristics of Admired Leaders
Source: Kouzes, J.M. & Posner, B.Z (2007). The Leadership Challenge (4th Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, pp. 28-31
What can we learn from the above data?
I believe the top four characteristics to also be the cornerstones of successful affiliate program management. Forward-looking implies a “well-defined orientation toward the future” and vision; inspiring is about enthusiasm, drive and motivation; competent reflects a well of knowledge that never goes dry; but it is honesty that is the greatest and the most valued characteristic.
No matter whether it is a military leader, a president of a country, a CEO of a corporation, or an affiliate program manager, people want to be confident in their leaders; and confidence is always dependent on the leader’s integrity. Most frequently integrity gets challenged when an affiliate program manager commits a mistake. We need to remember that it is okay to commit mistakes. It is how we deal with them that shows who we really are.
One of my favorite quotes about mistakes comes from Dr. Dale E. Turner who said that “the highest form of self-respect” is “to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character.”
Admitting mistakes only builds up one’s integrity, and shows an individual as one possessing a strong and solid character.
Another element that is extremely important to remember is that one’s honesty is always tied to values and ethics. Know your principles and stand up for them. This is especially important in an industry as vulnerable to unethical behavior as affiliate marketing.
Geno Prussakov is the Founder of AM Navigator, and author of “A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing” and “Online Shopping Through Consumers’ Eyes.”
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FeedFront issue 7 articles can be found here as well: http://feedfront.com/archives/article00date/2009/08