14. The Law of Buy-In

The Law of Buy-In: People Buy into the Leader, Then the Vision

I already like this law because it speaks directly to the kind of momentum that I’m trying to build. I understand that the vision is as strong as the leader’s commitment to the vision. I’m committed to improving the alignment of my actions with my vision. As my discipline and effectiveness increase, I have absolute confidence that my results will drastically improve as well.

We began today’s reading with an account of Ghandi’s ascension into national leadership. Ghandi’s world travels and education eventually brought him back to India where he led the non-violent revolution against British oppression. It seems as if the leader can almost guide followers in any direction once credibility and respect are established. Ghandi first earned everyone’s respect and buy-in and THEN became much better at persuading his people to revolt non-violently, even to the point of burning all their foreign clothes and walking 200 miles! That’s some serious influence!

The leader finds the dream and then the people. The people find the leader and then the dream. p. 170

People don’t at first follow worthy causes. They follow worthy leaders who promote causes they can believe in. People buy into the leader first, then the leader’s vision. p. 171

Every message that people receive is filtered through the messenger who delivers it. If you consider the messenger to be credible, then you believe the message has value…Once people have bought into someone, they are willing to give the person’s vision a chance. People want to go along with people they get a long with. p. 173

I think this is a fairly simple concept and yet still profound. That’s why athletes and entertainers are so influential! You can have the best message in the world but it has to come from the right person.

The only time people will follow a leader they don’t like with a vision they don’t believe in is when the leader has some kind of leverage. p. 173

When people believe in their leader and the vision, they will follow their leader no matter how bad conditions get or how much the odds are stacked against them. p. 175

But if I had tried to sell my vision instead of selling myself, I wouldn’t have succeeded in helping those people get where they needed to go. And in the process I would have undermined my ability to lead them. As a leader, you don’t earn any points for failing in a noble cause. You don’t get credit for being “right” as you bring the organization to a halt. Your success is measured by your ability to actually take the people where they need to go. But you can do that only if the people first buy into you as a leader. That’s the reality of the Law of Buy-In. p. 177


  1. I do indeed have a vision for both ROI and PRI. I lead because I have been given the passion and vision to commit myself to results-driven action.  The mission of the Royal Oak Initiative is to engage the young in age and the young at heart in independent critical thinking and strategic problem solving while connecting them with community and business professionals to empower them in the areas of leadership, entrepreneurship, and personal finance. My vision for Primerica is to utilize the massive distribution system of financial services as well as the opportunity to significantly increase financial education through subsidized licensing and training in order to perpetuate collective economic empowerment, self-actualization, and spiritual stewardship. I am absolutely determined to make both of these visions come alive.
  2. With PRI, my lead teammates are Kinyell and David. I would say that KG’s buy-in is a 7 and David’s is a 9. I believe they both have bought-into the vision and are determined to make their mark on the world through business.
  3. I do need to do better about establish credibility with new associates. Perhaps I can host a monthly team dinner or something of that nature. Time spent training one-on-one will also be helpful.

About Ernest Levert Jr.

Aspiring Servant-Leader studying engineering principles, financial stewardship, business management, and psychology fundamentals in order to cultivate passionate leadership, disseminate positive energy, uplift the community and ultimately create a brighter future for generations to come.
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