Submitted by del Fuego Lab on

Being a leader – isn't that what we all want at some time or another - to set direction, create a vision, move people forward or "some-ward."

Most of us, at some time in our lives, find ourselves in the position of having the opportunity to lead - whether as parents, business people, community leaders, sports leaders.

Here at del Fuego we have been working with leaders all over the world for many years – entrepreneurs, small businesses, sales mangers, CEOs. From our experience we know that to do it well - you've got to be willing to do the 'down in the trenches' work – especially when you are implementing something new.

Trench work - that's what we want to talk to you about today and give you, if not a new way to think about it, a simpler way that hopefully can become a blueprint in all of your leadership endeavors.

The example we're going to use deals specifically with BNI chapters. Even if you're not in BNI – you will recognize the questions and issues because they are universal in moving people – some-ward!

If you are on a BNI Leadership Team, a BNI Education Coordinator, a BNI Assistant Director, a BNI Executive Director – this posting will have a specific meaning for you.

Let's start with the statements we hear all the time –

  • My group doesn't seem motivated…
  • We aren't doing well with our goals…
  • I can tell people aren't focused on doing the networking activity (code word for the nitty gritty)…
  • We are still missing the mark or we still have a lot of absences…

Fill in your own frustrating moment…

What do these have to do with leadership? Leadership is about making things happen. The definition we particularly like is… leadership is creating a way for all the people on the team to contribute to making something wonderful happen.

The challenge for leaders is to move each of the statements above to the other side of the plate – My team is always so motivated. We are tracking and adjusting our goals weekly. This is the essence of leadership and the trench work. What does it take? Some say belief, endurance. Others would say confidence, passion. You probably have a list from your experience.

In the end what leaders want are results that make a difference.

How do you make that happen? Through specific actions that continue to point the team in the direction of the vision and goal.

How do you know the actions to take?

When President Dwight Eisenhower was asked how he was able to accomplish so much, he replied, "Training, training, training."

Training?

The hardest part for any leader is saying it, doing it, feeling it – over and over again and again with the team until it catches – like a lock on a door - until it becomes the behavior. Training does that. How? It creates the foundation that shows people the way to contribute and turn the concept into behavior. It's what catches the lock on the door.

Without good training in any organization, any BNI chapter, it's hard for leaders to be truly effective because you have no common language that lets everyone understand how and why to contribute and the inspiration it creates.

Training gives a team the discipline and the skills to know how to take the specific actions. What many people miss is the 'action part.' We can all think of lots of examples of actions that continue to point the team in the direction of the goal.

  • Sports teams who set out to win, and then do the windsprints day after day to prepare.
  • The pioneers who envisioned a future with prosperity and freedom and then had to travel through incredible conditions across unchartered and unfamiliar territory to get there.
  • Entrepreneurs, like you, that create the value and the promise of a better, safer life people come to depend on.

You can probably think of many more. But the common thread in each of these is the many actions taken that eventually lead to the end result which makes a difference. Consistent actions are what gets everyone on the same page and that happens with good training.

For your BNI chapter, the Fast Track program is the training that gives the team the blueprint for how to take consistent action, one step at a time. Fast Track is training members, through a common language and a consistent set of activities, how to make the difference on their team: more one to ones with members, learning your target markets, inside and out; knowing the right visitor to invite, putting into practice, at the blink of an eye, the many BNI processes that make the BNI experience incredible.

For all you leaders in BNI, Fast Track is creating a way for all the members on the team to contribute to making something wonderful happen.

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