This week’s Ask Ivan question comes from Kalyan in India:
I’m the mentor coordinator for my chapter. I want to see a culture in my chapter where members watch each others’ backs for performance, where members push each other regularly, so each member feels cared for and wanted. I want a culture that transcends BNI policies and brings together togetherness and ownership. How do I do that?
Creating a great chapter culture is a journey, not a destination. It won’t happen overnight. To create a truly great BNI chapter, your members need to embrace all of BNI’s Core Values:
- Givers Gain
- Building Relationships
- Lifelong Learning
- Traditions + Innovation
- Positive Attitude
Watch this series of short videos on BNI’s Core Values for more insight on how to create a great chapter culture
Do you have a question for Dr. Misner? Fill out the Ask Ivan form at the bottom of this page.
Brought to you by the Networking for Success Channel on YouTube.
Complete Transcript of Episode 513 –
Hello everybody and welcome back to the Official BNI Podcast, brought to you by the Networking for Success Channel on YouTube, which features Dr. Ivan Miser and many other networking experts. I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, California. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and the Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello, Ivan, how are you and where are you?
I am doing great, Priscilla and I am pretty near Austin speaking at an event that is being run by Alex Mandosa. Alex is a good friend of mine and of BNI and I am speaking at his event. I am doing an Ask Ivan question, and as you mentioned in the introduction, we now have a contact section here on their podcast. If you have a question, send it in. I will be happy to answer as many as I can. I can’t answer everybody’s question, but I will answer as many as possible.
Today’s question, and I am got probably going to get his name wrong here. Kalyan isn’t I believe how it is pronounced. He is from India. He says, “Hello, sir. I am a big fan of yours.” Thank you so much. I appreciate that. “I am the mentor coordinator of my chapter and my question is I want to see a culture in my chapter where members watch each other’s backs for performance, where members push each other regularly, where each member feels cared for and wanted. I want such a culture that transcends BNI policies and brings togetherness and ownership. How do I do that?”
That’s a great question. I really appreciate that. So here is the answer. First of all creating culture in an organization that in international like BNI, all the way down to the chapter, creating culture in a chapter is a journey not a destination. You can’t get there overnight so be patient and here are the things that you want to do.
First, I am going to have a link in this podcast to all the videos about core values, we have seven core values and I have an introduction video so there are eight different videos and they are short, they are all roughly five minutes. Each one of them will talk about the things that I am going to talk to you about right now.
Remember that culture takes time. So if you want to have an awesome chapter, work towards living the core values of BNI. Of course we all know, I believe virtually every member knows the principle core value of BNI and that is the philosophy of givers gain. It is the idea that if I am here to help you, you will help me. We will all do better as a result of it. Remember that it is a standard not a stick that you hit somebody with, it is something that you have to apply to yourself in he way you deal with other people. This is one of the ways that you create a great culture, you begin with that.
The second thing is building meaningful relationships, building relationships. This is really critical. BNI and networking is all about relationships so as you do whatever you do within a chapter, ask yourself is this helping to build a healthy relationship? What I am about to do, what I am about to say, you know, the referral that I am going to give.
Number three, and here is where India, I think, more than most countries, really gets it. Lifelong learning. Education training is critical and if you can get a chapter immersed and engaged in a culture of learning, you are going to be really, really successful as a chapter.
The fourth is traditions and innovation. Live the traditions of the organizations. There are some fantastic traditions. Recognize the traditions of your chapter, for example, if you have some founding members of your chapter, recognize them regularly, one great way to recognize a founding member or one of the most seasoned members, somebody who has been in a long time, is when a new member is introduced to the chapter, have a founding member with the person inducting them into the chapter. So that founding member every week is recognized. Or founding members, every week, pick one of them and have them do the induction of a new member, heat is a great way of creating a tradition within a chapter. And of course, innovation. a lot of ew things that we have tried and implemented into BNI.
The fifth is a positive attitude. Nothing brings down a chapter quicker than people who have a bad attitude. So if you want to create a great culture in your chapter, keep people’s attitudes in check. If you have somebody who is out of control with negativity, you have to sit down with them and ask how can we help you improve your attitude because it is not working within the chapter?
And then you talk about, Kalyan. You talk about policies and compliance. Our sixth core value is accountability and you know, I have talked about this, Priscilla, in other podcasts. you know, hockey without rules would be boxing on ice. BNI without rules would be a coffee clatch around a table, you have to have rules. The things is you, apply the policies like Mandela not Atilla. You do it with diplomacy, but accountability is critical.
Recognition is the last core value. It is so important to recognize when someone is doing a great job.
When I say it is a journey and not a destination, you can see why, you have to be pulling on all of these levers simultaneously in small ways in a chapter, If you want to have an incredible chapter that is just on fire and excited and passionate and successful, these are the levers you pull to achieve that. Givers gain, relationships, lifelong learning, tradition and innovation, positive attitude, accountability and recognition.
If you do all of these things, Kalyan, you are going to have a great chapter, and I urge you to go to these videos. We will have a link right here on all five of the core values, please take a look at that.
And I think I have time, Priscilla, for a bonus question, a little short one.
Okay, great. What’s that?
Let’s do that and if you have any questions about my topic I am happy to answer those this one comes from Kailee. I don’t know where Kailee is from. She didn’t say but it is a simple question. “Does one ever stop building a network or is it a rest of your life type of thing?”
Kailee, the short answer is it is a lifelong thing. It is absolutely a lifelong activity. It is about connecting people, helping people, and gaining support as needed from people. I am now 60 years old and I am here to tell you that I am not finished building my network. It is something that you constantly do because people come in your life and they go out of your life, so you have to be constantly refilling that bucket of relationships that you have. So yeah, Kailee, it is a lifelong thing.
There are two questions from the Ask Ivan and we are going to do a few more over the next several weeks, Priscilla. Any thoughts before we wrap up?
No. I think you did it perfectly. Great ideas about building a culture and I understand what you are saying about building your referral network, it takes time and never seems to end. It is kind of always revealing itself.
I guess one of the things about a lot of what I do, most of what I do is about a journey not a destination. It takes time, I think in this high tech society that we live in, we expect immediate results and when it comes to realtionships, it’s just not going to come, you are just not going to get immediate results. People have to be patient and do the kinds of things that we are talking about here, especially that culture. You don’t create a chapter culture in a month. You can ruin a chapter culture in a month but you can’t create a happy chapter culture in a month. It takes months to start to create that culture, that is all I have for today, Priscilla.
Okay, well that is excellent, Thank you so much, Ivan. I think that is it for this week. I would just like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by the Networking for Success Channel on YouTube. Thanks so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice and we look forward to having you join us next week for another exciting episode of the Official BNI Podcast.