I know this saying is a bit cliché, but what a difference your point of view makes. Displaying a positive and supportive attitude in business is so incredibly important. Seeing the world as full of opportunity is a true marker of successful people. In BNI we feel it is so important that we even include it as a part of our Code of Ethics. Recently, I experienced a significant delay on an international flight. In fact, the Captain said he had not experienced this cause for delay in over 10 years. While the crew and most of the passengers were patient, the gentleman behind me became belligerent to the point of frustrating the crew and all the passengers around him. I’m pretty sure he came close to being thrown off the plane. I asked the First Officer if it was common to have to deal with people like that. Sadly, he said it was but that life was too short to let it bother him. He said his job was to get people to their destination safely and that he would let nothing deter him from that mission. He went on to say that he would always prefer to deal with a maintenance issue on the ground versus 38,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. Proper maintenance can insure optimum performance whether on a plane or running a business.
Life comes at you fast and speed bumps will appear in your path. Change is a part of life and when you embrace change it can become a very relevant and positive part. In business change keeps us relevant; however, any successful business will still embrace its traditions and fundamentals even as it changes. BNI has gone through many changes in the last couple of years, the largest of which is the transition to BNIConnect and using online slips. These changes are designed to do only one thing: help members make more money. We have over 160, 000 members in over 6,500 chapters around the world. Last year our average member made over $38,000 in closed, referred business and that’s a record.
For our organization to continue to be the best in the world, just like the pilot, we have to “deal with a few maintenance issues” from time to time. I recently re-read part of a book called Good to Great by Jim Collins. The book is about how good companies become great. Let’s apply some of his strategies to good chapters and help them become great ones. In the way of a summary, I am providing a few bullet points below and have oriented them toward BNI:
- Put your best people in leadership roles and have them focus on the biggest opportunities, not the biggest problems.
- See what is essential and relevant to the mission of helping members make more money.
- Embrace a culture of discipline and the proven systems of BNI.
- Technology creates breakthroughs, but only if we embrace it. BNIConnect is driving referred business to new levels around the globe.
- BNI Leadership teams and chapters need to be fanatically driven to produce sustainable results.
- Leaders are plow horses, not show horses. Doing the work is more important than talking about it.
- Accountability to the Member Traffic Lights drives business.
Lastly, setting off on the path to greatness requires confronting the brutal facts of current reality. If your chapter does not have over 50 members making on average of over $100,000 in member profit a year, then the brutal fact is that the chapter can do better. It is time to do a little maintenance. If your chapter is not producing that kind of results, then let’s confront it and change. BNI has the systems, tools, processes, and programs to help chapters achieve this kind of success. Many chapters do achieve it. What we need are leaders who are willing to do the work, who believe in Givers Gain, and who are deeply passionate about creating success for others.
We are currently bringing on new leadership teams to be trained in September, 2014. These teams will lead the chapters over the next year. Do you have what it takes to fulfill a leadership role in your chapter? Is your glass half full? Can you embrace the vision? Are you willing to do the work to make your chapter one of the best in the region? Do you embrace the Good to Great mentality or are you like the guy sitting behind me in the airplane who was detracting from everyone’s success? Be a part of the team that takes your chapter to the next level. Interested? Have a conversation with your Director and together let’s “Change The Way The World Does Business”.