Leadership Requires Vision

shared vision burgandyAll of our chapter leaders have recently been through BNI Leadership Training and are now handling their responsibilities with excellence.  Leadership requires many things.  Starting with the fact that it takes someone extraordinary to be a leader, remember, it’s not really about the leader, it’s about the follower.  Let’s start with the definition.

Merriam-Webster says, “It is the power or ability to lead other people.”  Hmmm, is it really that simple?  A little vague, don’t you think? I think effective leaders have the ability to inspire others to greatness.

The following are a few words that I think describes effective leadership:  Humility, Teamwork, Empowerment, Vision, Action, Failure, the Ability to Learn, the Ability to Bounce Back, and Transparency.  Ultimately, I believe it is having the magical ability to lead people to achieve things that were not possible before.

I just came back from a BNI International Conference.  The keynote address was on BNI’s Vision, which is “Changing The Way The World Does Business.”  Pretty cool vision, right?  Well, it got us talking.  I learned that in India they have a vision that every chapter will have 51+ members producing 1 million in business per chapter per month.  They created this vision five years ago and now their average chapter size is over 40, up from 29.  Wow!

So, how do we create leadership success and accomplish our vision? We do it by leading by example, learning how to coach and be coached, offering support to our team, holding people accountable and honoring our commitments.

The product of our vision is increased business; however, as we accomplish our vision, so much more happens.  I believe BNI provides members with an environment to be positive.  Think about it, when you show up to your chapter meeting the energy is amazing, people are working hard to make it happen.  Kind of like soaring with the eagles, I think.  We provide members with confidence. I remember conducting a training on effective 60 Second presentations and Patty, one of the attendees, called me the next week and said she received three referrals because of the confidence she developed when speaking to her group.  Think back, maybe you were once nervous about speaking to a group.  BNI provides an environment where you can engage in self development.  I spoke to Dale last night and he told me how his chapter has really jumped into education and the result is a huge increase in referrals being passed.  I guess that is not really surprising.  Business is tough: being an entrepreneur is no easy task.  I recently spoke to a new member, David in Georgia, and he shared with me that he had made over 1000 cold calls with one sale before BNI. However, in the last few months he has closed over $25,000 in deals with $300,000 in the pipeline and all from referrals.  We give people hope.  Finally, the connections people develop are incredible. A good friend of mine, Robert, told me that the connections he has developed over the years has resulted in his company expanding internationally with extraordinary business partners and that could not have happened without BNI.  Now, with BNI Connect Global, we are connected to ALL the amazing people worldwide that BNI attracts.

Lets all work together to “Change The Way The World Does Business.”


David Alexander

Executive Director

Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler (Let the good times roll!)

I had the great opportunity this summer to speak at the French National BNI Conference in June 2013.  No, I don’t speak French, well, not yet at least.  They were kind enough to host an English only session.  While there, I was asked a few times how BNI has changed over the years.  I have been involved in BNI for 18 years, but BNI started in France only 8 years ago.  This really got me to thinking about the opportunities BNI provides now versus 28 years ago or even 18 years ago.  So, I have created a list and checked it twice.

In the first 10 years, members had the following opportunities:

  • A Weekly Meeting
  • Referrals
  • 60 Second Presentations
  • 10 Minute Presentations
  • A Local Network


This is a pretty short list, right?  However, this basic program allowed for incredible success and thousands of people plugged in.

Now, let’s look at what BNI has to offer today:  over 6,000 chapters and over 150,000 members later.

  • A Weekly Meeting
  • One to One Meeting Planner
  • Referrals
  • Member Goal Program
  • 60 Second Presentations
  • Chapter Goal Program
  • 10 Minute Presentations
  • TYFCB Program
  • Member Success Program Basic
  • Member Success Program Advanced
  • BNI Connect
  • Regional Websites
  • BNI.com
  • BNI.org, Our Foundation
  • Chapter Websites
  • Powerteam Program
  • Fast Track Program
  • SuccessNet Online Magazine
  • Global Network
  • Local Network
  • Networking Cafe
  • Chapter Traffic Lights
  • Member Webinars
  • Leadership Training
  • Chapter Educational Units
  • Weekly Podcast
  • Educational Coordinator
  • Mentoring Coordinator
  • 16 Books on Networking
  • Networking Like a Pro—my favorite book

All this is to say that BNI is truly second to none, not only here, but around the world. Members can plug into everything listed above and experience unparalleled success.   This is one of the many reasons that BNI members Make More Money, Realize Quicker Sales, and have Amazing ROI in BNI as compared to other networking groups.  Remember, the secret to success is not a secret. It is hard work. If you want to truly take your business to the next level and have a dynamite referral marketing plan, plug in a little deeper to BNI.

By the way, if there are some items on this list that you are interested in learning more about, connect with your Director. They are a valuable resource.  Life is good and full of opportunities.  If you want to increase your referrals and get more business, get plugged into more of what is available to you.  BNI does more training on Referral Marketing than any other organization in the world and it is all available to you through your membership.  I challenge you to become one of the many members making over $100,000 a year in BNI.

Let the good times roll,

David Alexander

Executive Director

BNI Members Realize Quicker Sales

In our last newsletter, we discussed some studies and surveys that confirm what we already know.

1.Members get more referrals in BNI.

2.Members realize quicker sales in BNI.

3.Members receive an amazing ROI in BNI.

We discussed the first point in the last newsletter.  Last year BNI members passed 6.9 million referrals. That’s an average of over 45 referrals per member per year.   Members get more referrals in BNI.

This time around let’s talk about the second point.  Members realize quicker sales in BNI.   The chart below came from international marketing expert, Per Sjofors, and his team.  They did an evaluation of the “value proposition” that BNI offers its members worldwide.  This shows a dramatic comparison between BNI and other networking groups.

referrals_quickerGetting business quicker in BNI is very important in a struggling economy.  This economy presents a huge opportunity for all entrepreneurs and BNI plays a big role in that opportunity.  Members who really plug in fast get results faster.  Training is a huge component of this success.  BNI is not a training company, but we do provide cutting edge referral marketing training as a part of your membership.  Make sure you participate.

BNI members’ businesses are constantly increasing.  I believe this will become even more dramatic as we continue to leverage new technologies like BNI Connect.  In the past, when you joined a chapter, you joined a local business network. Now, with our online technologies, you are a local business with a global network of over 140,000 BNI Members.


Opportunity Abounds,

David Alexander—BNI Executive Director


New BNI Social Media Tool Works!

If you are a BNI member, have you registered and logged into the new BNIConnect Global system? If you ask Terri Bianchini of the Loganville Referral Pros if it’s worth your time or not, her answer will be a resounding yes! Terri is a real estate agent with Chapman Hall Realtors. A BNI member in Indiana found her through our new system that allows members to connect with every other BNI member worldwide. The Indiana member referred to her a couple that plans to move to Atlanta, and wala! Terri has a new client.

In addition to allowing BNI members to network via social media features such as friend connections, recommendations and groups, BNIConnect Global also powers our website viewed by visitors, www.BNISoutheast.com as well as individual chapter websites. To view a great example of how a completed profile is viewed by a visitor, click here and check out Glen Coleman’s page.

If you are a BNI member and have already logged in, that’s great! Please go online and complete your profile as fully as possible, including your GAINs and TOPs info. If you have had trouble logging in or have not received your registration email, please contact your chapter director as soon as possible for assistance.

BNIConnect Global is a powerful social media networking tool and an awesome benefit of your membership. Please take advantage of this opportunity starting today!

The Early Bird Gets the Green

International Networking Day will be here before you know it and the early bird will save money. This conference is has it all, a real triple threat: it’s a networking opportunity, you can learn new networking techniques and lunch is included with your ticket! Held on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at the Gwinnett Civic Center, early bird ticket prices end soon. Click here for event details.

Conference topics include:

– Advanced Networking Techniques

– Building Strategic Alliances

– Social Media

– Converting Prospects to Clients

The conference also features a business expo where companies who are interested in growing their business by referral can showcase their products and services. Booths are industry exclusive, so to find out if your profession is still available, please call Anita York at 678.888.0200 x228.