Inspired by a quote often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, “A sign of a good leader is not how many followers you have but how many leaders you create,” Tony De Gouveia, the South African founder of The Ultimate Business (TUB), is on a mission to identify and nurture future leaders, empowering them to achieve greatness. His journey features his evolution from an authoritarian style of leadership to one of servant leadership. He says the result from this shift has been a bounty of exponential growth and transformative change—not for just one individual but for the collective.
De Gouveia’s entrepreneurial path started at age 22 when he took over his family’s multiple retail franchises in Johannesburg. He says this early phase of his career—which lasted over two decades—was marked with various achievements, such as setting a record in 1999 for creating what was then the world’s longest boerewors, a South African sausage. However, it wasn’t until 2010 that De Gouveia’s leadership style underwent a significant transformation after he entered the network marketing industry.
De Gouveia realized that in network marketing, success was less about individual achievements and more about building a cohesive, empowered team. Consequently, he transitioned his leadership style to follow the values of servant leadership, embracing empathy, humility and empowerment. This was a stark departure from his previous leadership approach, which involved him being the sole decision maker. Moving away from traditional authoritative leadership, De Gouveia focused on being a leader who serves his team, guiding them toward their success. This change was initially not easy, as it required him to relinquish his ego and sense of control—traits deeply ingrained in many business leaders.
De Gouveia recognized the need to develop leaders within his team since, ultimately, his success was intrinsically linked to their growth and development. The challenge was in not just selling products but fostering a community of leaders who could sustain and grow the business. De Gouveia says this paradigm shift radically transformed his perspective on business and was instrumental to the creation of TUB. That’s why TUB is more than just a business model to him; it symbolizes his journey and commitment to a business philosophy that prioritizes collective achievement and empowerment.
The founder says significant growth and achievements in network marketing mark his story, having grown his network to over 100,000 distributors and customers. He feels his tenure with the companies he launched and pioneered is a testament to his effective leadership and team-building skills.
Today, De Gouveia focuses on nurturing strong relationships with his core leaders and continuing to grow TUB. He says his journey in network marketing has afforded him freedoms that extend beyond business, aligning with his life goals and passions. His current objective is to increase his earnings and help others in his team achieve similar financial success and freedom.
De Gouveia hopes his story inspires and draws in aspiring entrepreneurs who are interested in online business, passive income and mentorship. In creating TUB and centering it on servant leadership, the founder feels he has built a successful enterprise and laid the foundation for a new generation of leaders. But he says the greatest legacy a leader can leave is the empowerment and success of others.
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