Types of Converts: Exploders and Rocks

There are generally two types of people who join a Network Marketing company or a faith. The first type is the “exploders”, these are the people who have a lot of excitement, a lot of enthusiasm. Often, they also have a largeish network of friends and they have a certain level of credibility with those friends. Exploders do just that, their business, or faith, blows up and they get many converts right away. Most exploders however are unprepared for what comes next, which necessarily is leadership. Usually, exploders are carried on their excitement, and they are not ready to lead their converts when the time comes.

Many exploders see an opportunity and they run with it. Then, they just think that everything will keep happening on its own, without them needing to change themselves or take the necessary steps to transform into a leader. What basically happens is that they see the amount of work and service required for leadership, and they don’t want to do it. So they quit, and their team quits, except for the few who see hope in other leaders, who nuture a seed of their own belief.

Those that nurture the seed within themselves are typically not exploders (note that none of these are hard, fast rules, and that all people are different, and therefore there are possible and even probable exceptions to every thing). They are what I call “rocks”. These are people who have much less excitement and enthusiasm at the start, or who are perhaps crippled by something in their personality, or their lack of friends or credibility, or who just have trouble believing enough, or who are frightened at first. BUT, these people, despite their apparent flaws, CLING to that seed as if it is life itself, and they water it. They follow leaders, attends meetings, read books, whatever, and they keep moving ahead, even if it appears to be terribly slow movement to others. Rocks build a foundation of theory, of truth and belief, for themselves, and then from that place of strength (or at least less weakness) they start stepping out a little more and talking to others.

Essentially, it is a cycle: Exploders grow through huge numbers and briefly increase the size of an organization by a lot, but most of that fades away in the heat of time. What exploders really do is find a few rocks. The rocks are the people that are there long after the exploder gives up, decides they don’t want to lead, decides it doesn’t work after all, whatever, and goes away (not all exploders leave. I am merely highlighting the two extremes here.). What they leave behind are the rocks. The rocks build their slow and steady way, and move forwards until they find… exploders. The job of rocks is to be consistent until they find an exploder. Thus, an organization is built through people who blow up, gather huge numbers, then fall away, leaving behind the people who really believe. The rocks are the foundation, the exploders are the growth spurts.

Please note that while both types of people tend to discount the other, both are necessary for an organization to grow and achieve new heights. Without exploders, the rocks would probably just sit there, not growing much, and take absolutely forever to get anywhere. Without rocks, there would be no framework for exploders to blow up in, and there would be no staying power for those the exploders recruited.

The truly exceptional are both exploders and rocks. Micheal Mo is perhaps an example of someone who combined both traits enough to both grow quickly, and to not fade when things got rough.

Rocks, given time and ambition, will become exploders. Exploders can often have traits that give them the staying power of rocks, so that even though much of their converts lose the faith, they do not. A balancing average is what is needed for true growth, and that is something that Adam talks about further in his own article.

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Who is Micheal Mo?

Excellent article

I just wanted to mention how applicable this article is to a few real-life situations I've encountered in the recent past. I plan to use this example and the very useful analogy of the 'exploders' and 'rocks'. Thank you for this fine description of this concept.

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