March 01, 2011
Executive Connection with Michael Dean, President, CEO, Nature’s Sunshine
In this month’s Executive Connection, Direct Selling News Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming speaks with Michael Dean, President and CEO of Nature’s Sunshine, about leadership, innovation and the building of relationships in the direct selling industry.
DSN: What is the one thing you enjoy most about being the CEO of Nature’s Sunshine Products?
MD: It’s that for the first time in my career I’m part of something broader than just making money. We genuinely help people in their lives.
DSN: What has been your proudest accomplishment?
MD: So far, it’s that I’ve been able to unify the team in a way that is allowing us to rethink the business in a way that is more focused on innovation.
DSN: What do you tell Nature’s Sunshine members to lead and inspire them?
MD: The thing that seems to resonate the most is my commitment to resourcing them and their business at every turn. It’s a priority. They are also really happy to see a strong, committed vision for the future of the biz.
DSN: What is your vision for Nature’s Sunshine?
MD: To have far more people experience all of our great products and know our brand.
DSN: If you could relive one period of time since you’ve been at Nature’s Sunshine, what would it be?
MD: That cathartic moment when a leader from Ecuador told me, with tears in her eyes, how Nature’s Sunshine had changed her life. Second would be my first convention, which was in our Russian market. Standing in front of almost 9,000 distributors, I could actually feel the enthusiasm they have for our business and our company.
DSN: You were a newcomer to direct selling when you joined Nature’s Sunshine. What was the most important thing you learned in the process?
MD: Not to make any critical decisions early before I understood the nuances of this business. This is, above all else, a business of relationships. That is more unique in both importance and breadth than in any other industry I’ve been in.
DSN: Is there one basic principle which governs your leadership at Nature’s Sunshine?
MD: Always to build on our strengths.
DSN: Has someone ever given you a bit of really great advice you can share with us?
MD: Someone once told me to always listen more than you speak, and I try to use that advice every day.
DSN: What’s something that few people know about you?
MD: I’m a musician. I play several instruments, including guitar and drums. I paid my way through college as a musician.