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