“Don’t use Navy management but use piracy management and show them the bounty” were the words of Mike Tobin in a training seminar. Mike Tobin is the area director of over 40 BNI chapters in Missouri and Illinois. When I heard those words I had just taken over the role of the vise president, with three months left in a one year term, of our local chapter. With me listening, were the president and the sectary treasurer and a few other concerned members. We were in a sinking ship, we all knew it and our ship was sinking fast!
Manage like pirates thrilled my often rebellious soul. I am not a rebel with out a cause but a rebel with a cause! The word rebel is a neat word! Rebel, dissenter, rise up, revolt, fight back, radical, revolutionary, mutineer, insurgent. Sound negative? Not when you realize that words like revolutionary and some of the other words mean, change, new, innovative, new ideas, fresh start. And not when you use the word rebel in the context of standing up against the recession and fighting back to create more jobs and build a stronger economy through relationships and referrals in a BNI network chapter.
Jackie Robinson is one of my favorite rebels. He stood up to the racial discrimination in the US Army. He was court- marshaled but later exonerated. He was also the first person to shatter the color barrier in major league baseball. What a rebel! Martin Luther King Jr. said “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people”.
That’s why we were sinking. We had three leaders doing all the work and over 40 ‘good people’ standing by watching the ship sink. Unfortunately I was one of the 40. After about six moths a few of us started to rebel; not against the leadership, but our own apathy. We started to get involved and started volunteering. We started to do the jobs that ‘somebody else’ was supposed to do but ‘nobody’ was doing.
Our biggest outward problems were, bad attendance, no guests were brought, coming late, leaving early, texting, phone calls, internet searching, talking while others were speaking, and illicit joking. Meetings started late and ended late as well. Members dropped out and committees dismantled. The work that was being done was only being done by the three leaders.
Then a group of rebels, I mean volunteers, started supporting the leadership. With their support, no more cell phones were aloud during the meetings. No more racy jokes aloud. Phone calls were made by volunteers checking on absent members. Thank you letters were written and phone calls were made to guests. Meetings started on time and ended minutes early. Attendance was taken and rules were enforced.
Incentives, contests and games were created. Guests started coming and new members were born. Volunteers started signing up and going to training meetings. Enthusiasm and excitement replaced apathy and disorder.
The bounty you ask? That’s the show me the money. That’s turning contacts into contracts. The bounty is to have a working relationship with business owners to create a wealth of resources and produce well satisfied customers that are proud to pay for the products and services they were promised. To create a list of contacts from satisfied customers that were referred from one member to another and are now glad to refer their contacts as well. The bounty, it’s to feel good about your chapter and be proud to be a member. It’s to receive more than enough compensation and to be a great investment of your time and money spent. The bounty, it’s when BNI becomes your best client and you would rather go to your weekly meeting because that is where the most profit for your time is spent.