Are you serious? A lesson, a question and a BONUS TIP!

28 Sep

I went to a wonderful event this past Thursday evening.  For the first time, I attended the annual dinner for the Lake Superior Chapter of BNI. I’ve been a member of the chapter since last January, having transferred from a different chapter in Cloquet, about 20 miles south of Duluth. I am also the chapter’s regional Director Consultant, providing training, coaching and support to help them (us) succeed. I also support three other area chapters. All told, I’ve got about six years in BNI, but am only in my first yearly cycle with the Lake Superior chapter.

It was a nice dinner at the local Radisson. Social hour first. We changed tables to sit/talk with different chapter members for each of the three courses. The outgoing leadership and support teams were thanked. The outgoing chapter president was roasted, and it was obvious that the members who presented their humorous insights took it seriously, cared and prepared. Some funny stuff there! The new president and the rest of the new teams were introduced. The entire night showed a chapter that takes its business as a chapter seriously, but that also knows have to have fun. Several members had put in time planning for the evening, and it was obvious they gave it a lot of time and thought. They did a great job.

Finally, and of great note, is that the incoming president noted that every single person he asked to serve on the leadership and support teams said “yes”; no one begged off. I was impressed.

Change of venue: My Taekwondo school. Images enter my mind of current and past students. Students who were around a little while and students who have been around a long while. Students who have progressed far and students who continue to spin their wheels. Students who still find motivation to continue and improve and students who have dropped out because of other interests or because they started to get “bored.” Students who would say, were you to ask them, that they have gotten much never imagined from their training, and those who would say their experience was OK, maybe even very good, but that they just didn’t get whatever-it-is and who subsequently left, or who at best continue to dabble but really not progress.

By and large, every Taekwondo student who has stayed and who has achieved has shown up. Regularly. Consistently. Further, while present, they have invested themselves into the training, doing what is asked of them and pushing themselves. They put their mind and heart into it. They have taken it seriously, have made the investment of time, money, attention and effort, and they have gotten the benefits.

Then there is the opposite. Sporadic attendance. Cautious participation. Ambivalent commitment. I’m not talking about practical life/schedule limitations, as much as choices they have made. They are much more dabblers, perhaps briefly investing themselves intensively and then fading away, perhaps returning, but irregularly, letting themselves get distracted by other things and then feeling they aren’t getting much out of their training.

Change of venue: back to the Lake Superior chapter dinner. This chapter clicks. Sure there are numerous ways in which it isn’t perfect and in which it clearly could improve. So is the case with my achieving and still-present Taekwondo students. But the bottom line is that, by and large, the chapter, its members, commit and do what is asked of them. The results show. Lots of referrals. Lots of excitement. Lots of fun. Lots of committed and caring relationships. Lots of business conducted and closed (brag: we exceeded more than $2 million in closed business over the past 12 months!!). Members who readily say “yes” when asked to serve, who take part in the training for their roles, and who fulfill their roles with diligence, good spirit, and even some fun and creativity. Not necessarily perfectly, but seriously, in action and not just word.

THE LESSON: Actually take something  seriously and you can get a lot out of it. Dabble or go about it half-heartedly, or with only one foot in . . .not as much so.  Surprise!

THE QUESTION: What do you have going on that you remain active in but are not really taking seriously? Only part-commitment, part-time, part-effort, part-heart.  Is it something you really want more out of? If so, go to the BONUS TIP below.  If not, then don’t sweat it; just be sure you place the responsibility where it belongs. Or, go the the BONUS TIP anyway and give it a shot.

–>  –>  –> BONUS TIP:  For the next 30 days, invest yourself fully into that area (only one!). A daily walking regimen. Taekwondo classes. Dropping caffeine or eating better. Praying/meditating/conscious breating. Reading daily. Something in your family plans/schedule/relationships (regular dinner with your spouse/kids?).   Some area of your work.  Textbook participation in your BNI chapter or other club/organization.  Anyone can do anything for 30 days (don’t debate that; of course there are exceptions and odd examples).

One month; 30 days. Do it right. Take it seriously. Make it a priority. Experiment. Have some fun with it. I think you will be amazed what things look like, and how you feel about things, after just 30 days. Let me know how it goes.

One Response to “Are you serious? A lesson, a question and a BONUS TIP!”

  1. Roland Denzel October 2, 2013 at 01:28 #

    Great stuff. Whether it’s diet, training, or business building, commitment means everything!

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