Archive for Leadership Teams

Have you ever walked into a party where you didn’t know anyone and found yourself greeted with a friendly smile and some helpful introductions?  Then you have met someone who would make a great BNI Visitor Host!

Visitor Hosts are a fundamental part of your Leadership Team and vitally important to the growth of your chapter.  This month we take a closer look at who they are and what they do.

BNI Visitor Hosting: It’s a Team Effort

As your BNI chapter can expect to welcome more than one visitor each week, your team of Visitor Hosts needs to be large enough to properly look after each guest.  The expected number of visitors depends on the size of your chapter, of course, and how active members are in bringing guests to your weekly meetings.

Your chapter’s Visitor Hosts also need to organize the team to look after different aspects of Visitor Hosting: greeting, orientation, and follow up.

The larger the chapter, the more Visitor Hosts you need to appoint.  Both – ensuring individual attention is given to each visitor, and distributing the workload – mean that chapters should have at least three Visitor Hosts to share the tasks, and to be able to concentrate on high quality hosting.

Because it’s professional, it’s polite – and because happy visitors are great referrers!

Meeting And Greeting

Your chapter’s Visitor Hosts are the first people a guest (and potential new member) meets when they visit your chapter.

They greet new arrivals and help them feel welcome.  Visitor Hosts make sure guests have a cup of tea or coffee, and explain how the meeting will run.  And because Visitor Hosts are expert networkers, they introduce guests to key people to get the networking ball rolling.

Making Introductions: Everybody Wins

A good Visitor Host finds out which businesses a guest is looking to connect with – but they also establish which members might benefit from meeting the guest.  Then the Visitor Host brings them together, introducing guest and relevant members.

Even with only little information available, clued-in Visitor Hosts know to introduce a visitor to representatives of the power team the guest’s business would most likely complement.

Either way, introductions made by the Visitor Hosts enable members and guests to network before the actual meeting begins.  Everyone will get the most out of pre-meeting networking – visitor, member, and your chapter.

Visitor Hosts ensure the President has the visitors’ details so they can be individually introduced to the chapter.

Perhaps most importantly for these potential new members, Visitor Hosts explain the Sales Manager Minute (a.k.a. 60 Seconds Infomercial), and the opportunity each guest has to share their business and ideal referral request with the group.

After The Meeting: Orientation & Follow Up

Visitor Hosts not only play a fundamental role in greeting visitors at the start of each chapter meeting, they also help visitors after meetings, both immediately and in the days following.

At the end of each meeting, Visitor Hosts join up with guests for a brief Visitor Orientation.  This orientation is the perfect opportunity for guests to ask questions and for Visitor Hosts to talk them through the application process.

During the orientation, Visitors Hosts should:

  • Thank the visitors for coming
  • Explain the commitments of membership
  • Handout the BNI Visitor Packs
  • Explain the application process and help visitors complete the application form
  • Collect application forms
  • Ask visitors to fill out the confidential meeting evaluation form

And because Visitor Hosts are such welcoming people, they phone new visitors a day or two after the meeting to check if they have any questions or need help with the application form.

So The Best Visitor Hosts Are…

A whole range of people!  From members who love to greet new people to those who can’t stop themselves talking about how BNI has boosted their business.

While it is important for the group of Visitor Hosts serving on the Leadership Team at any one time to have different talents, they do all share one important understanding: that by growing their chapter they are growing their own business. One inevitably flows from the other.

So Are You Ready To Be A Host With The Most?

Like the sound of being one of the welcoming faces of your chapter and increasing to your visibility and creditability?  Great!  Talk to your Leadership Team about becoming a Visitor Host.

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Welcome back to our series on the BNI Leadership Team roles! After looking at what the Education Co-Ordinator gets up to every week within their responsibilities, this time we turn our attention to the Event Co-Ordinator. This role represents the glue that binds chapter, members, BNI regional directors, visitors, and the greater community together.

Let’s take a closer look.

Did You Know…?

The Event Co-Ordinator will be known as Chapter Growth Co-Ordinator in future – you will hear more from us about that soon.

No mater the name, though: the role’s responsibilities come in a number of shapes and forms. If there is one role within BNI that has to wear many (and quite different) hats, than its this Leadership Team member!

As the Event / Chapter Growth Co-Ordinator you perform a central role that ensures that members are well-educated, and get a chance to get to know each other better outside dances and regular meetings. For your chapter as a whole you open business opportunities that exist in your wider community. And you can have a lot of fun doing it – creativity is encouraged.

Liaisons Officer & Promoter

As a role that wears a serious and a fun(ny) hat, the Event Co-Ordinator has a hand in organising a large range of different events and related issues for your chapter. The position does important work connecting your chapter internally, with other local and regional BNI and networking groups – and in promoting you and your chapter to your local business community.

It’s All in a Day’s Work

“Training, Visibility, Fun and Growth!” are this Leadership Team member’s catch-cry when they organise and promote:

  • MSP, Leadership, and other BNI training events,
  • “Stack Days” (aka Focused Visitor Days) on which the whole chapter concentrates on inviting representatives of one particular unrepresented category,
  • Any trade shows and events the chapter wants to participate in,
  • Multi-chapter meetings,
  • Local Chamber of Commerce and community events,
  • Location of your chapter venue, and, of course,
  • Social events to build better relationships among all members.

They also assist the Leadership Team and Regional Director on any special projects, as it may be required.

Ideally, the Event / Chapter Growth Co-Ordinator reports weekly to the group, to encourage members to bring visitors, and to connect with local businesses.

Keep it Busy in the Silly Season!

Successful chapters with switched-on Event Co-Ordinators know a little secret…

The best way to keep the referral-buzz going and business steady during times when regular meetings are off, is to organize a couple of social events for this time.

So, with the long-ish Christmas, New Year’s and Australia Day period not far away, this is something to think about now. In our December issue, we will give you tips on how to keep your connections going during your well-deserved and much-anticipated break after a long year.
Create extra referrals in a fun and relaxed way… Now that’s a nice stocking filler!

Can You Wear Two Hats?

Now that you know what your Event / Chapter Growth Co-Ordinator gets up to – do you think you can fill those shoes on the next Leadership Team?

Or do you have an idea for a great social event for the Holiday Season – to keep relationships in your chapter strong and memories refreshed?

Speak to your Event / Chapter Growth Co-Ordinator about your ideas – you will help strengthen bonds and make your chapter even more successful.

Categories : Events, Leadership Teams
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This month we continue our popular series on the Leadership Roles within BNI with the “Voice of the Leadership Team”: the Education Co-Ordinator.

Challenges, Opportunities & Benefits

As a key member of the Leadership Team, the Education Co-Ordinator gives you a weekly insight into the direction your “leaders” are taking your chapter: the challenges they feel are right to tackle, and the opportunities they see for all members. Though this role is also meant as a resource for you: someone always ready to answer any questions you may have about your BNI experience.

Helping You Get More Out of BNI

The main purpose of the information shared in the education segment each week is to help all members reach the level of success they expect from their BNI membership. It’s all about helping you get more value out of BNI!

That’s why the Education Co-Ordinator’s presentations will always be BNI-focused. After all, you and your fellow BNI members specifically joined a BNI Chapter because you trust the proven BNI system to generate more quality referrals for your business. These weekly presentations are an important tool to help the Chapter and each member reach that goal. Because knowledge is power, and in BNI we believe that learning more is the key to earning more.

Being the Education Co-Ordinator: What To Do

The Education Co-Ordinator speaks for 3-5 minutes at the beginning of each meeting, right after the BNI Purpose & Overview section. The information presented is always geared towards helping the members enhance their networking skills and knowledge of the BNI system, in order to better give and receive referrals.

The Education Co-Ordinator –

  • Picks and researches the topic based on what the Chapter needs
  • Works with the Leadership Team on topic selection (especially with the Membership Committee and the Vice President)
  • As Education “Co-Ordinator” selects, on occasion, other members to present the education piece
  • Presents BNI-related networking education only
  • Uses a wide range of resources, including:
  1. BNI Facebook pages & blogs
  2. BNI International and BNI Learning websites
  3. BNI Books
  4. Members Area of the BNI Australia website

The better the Education Co-Ordinator is at tailoring their information to the Chapter’s needs, the more practical, applicable information the members will receive. Better-educated members utilising the BNI system will create more business for themselves, and their Chapter.

Use The Opportunity

What questions about BNI (and great ideas for your chapter) do you have?

Ask your Education Co-Ordinator to clarify anything that might be unclear to you about the BNI system. There are no silly questions – just those important, but un-asked ones! Your chapter will benefit from a Leadership Team that has the finger on its members’ collective pulse. You can help make your group more successful and engaged by contributing with your questions and suggestions. However, be sure to do this during open networking, or outside the weekly agenda – so the BNI meeting does not overrun.

And you can even present a topic!

Speak to your Education Co-Ordinator about delivering the Education Segment one week. Especially to passionately talk about a BNI subject close to your heart. You can be sure that your visibility and credibility will receive a boost that results in more referrals and business opportunities for you.

And perhaps the next time around, you might even want to put up your hand for the Education Co-Ordinator role!

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One For the Team

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Brent Edwards on How Holding Yourself Accountable Creates Winning Chapters

Think of your favourite team sport during a crucial match for a moment. What would happen if the members of that team were not committed or held accountable for the role they are there to fulfil? Their team would probably lose the game.

Now, as a supporter, would you feel disappointed? Feel that you were ripped off? Would you be angry with those people? Of course you would be.

Team Players Are Winners

Accountability is the state of being accountable, responsible, liable, or answerable. In a sports environment, the functioning of a team is reliant on everyone in the group performing their role. Consistently and diligently. If they don’t, performance of the whole team flags. The underperforming team member will eventually be dropped from the team, and replaced with someone who will show the accountability required.

Are You Looking After Your BNI Teammates?

Accountability and commitment are also critical within your BNI Chapter. What did you sign up for when you joined a BNI group? I think of my BNI group as my teammates, BNI as the field of play – and the Referral Business as the goal.

Your membership is meant to deliver cooperation from other like-minded business people (i.e. your team) to help you and your fellow players tap into new business opportunities in the structured environment of the BNI System.

Accountability = Success

Successful groups, in which all members benefit through acceptable returns on their investments, consistently have high accountability among members. They work on the BNI Givers Gain® reciprocal benefit principal: if I help you, you likely help me, and we both win as a result.

How To Make Accountability Work For You

So how do you know if you are accountable enough in your chapter, creating a winning team? Check your PALMS (Present, Absent, Late, Medical Leave, Substitute) statistics on your BNI chapter’s website (Members Section).

A good rule of thumb to determine whether, as member, you have contributed enough to the chapter and are truly a team player, is to achieve the following:

  • A least 1 referral per week,
  • 1 One2One Dance Card every 2 weeks, and
  • 1 visitor per month, as a minimum participation requirement.

Your chapter size, location, and goals may mean that you will vary from the above, but these are absolute minimum requirements in my opinion.

Together Everyone Achieves More

BNI is all about T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More – which you have probably heard of before). So why not put some accountability measures in place for your chapter, to make sure everyone in your BNI group is committedly contributing to each other’s success.

Because when your BNI team wins you, too, will make more money.

Brent is BNI Australia’s longest serving BNI Director, and Executive Director of BNI Melbourne South. You can contact him at

As all good chefs know, in order to achieve the best results you have to choose the best ingredients, and this is exactly what your Membership Committee does for your chapter. This month, in our series on the Leadership Roles within BNI, we look at how the Membership Committee helps build your chapter by choosing the best people to become members. With the new term starting in October, now is the time to decide if you’d like to become a Membership Committee “MasterChef“ too!

Choosing The Right People

The principal role of the Membership Committee is to support your chapter by selecting the right people to become members.

The Membership Committee has usually between three or five members, including the Vice President, who is also the chair and holds the deciding vote.

When a person applies for membership, the application is assessed by the Membership Committee. The committee checks the application against the existing categories and ensures there is no overlap with current members.

The Membership Committee also decides whether an applicant’s attitude is right for the group. As we all know, attitude makes a huge difference to the success of a chapter (and thus all our businesses).

Keeping The Right People

The Membership Committee not only selects new people to join the chapter, it also makes sure all existing members continue to contribute.

If a member’s referral and visitor numbers are low, the Membership Committee can point that person towards progressive coaching to help them build their skills and confidence.

Accountability Tracking

It is proven that chapters that work on holding their members accountable make a lot more money. It is the responsibility of the Membership Committee to track the performance of the members against a chapter’s key success-factors – such as attendance, closed business, referrals, visitors, 1-to-1 meetings, and a great attitude.

The most important key success-factor is attendance of the weekly meeting. Turning up not only makes us visible to other members and their visitors, but also gives us the chance to educate our chapter (that is, our extended marketing and sales department) on the kinds of referrals we are looking for.

So the most important aspect is monitoring attendance – because our businesses work best when everyone is fully briefed and out there, recommending us.

What Else is Involved?

The Membership Committee also helps out if any issues arise, such as low overall attendance or poor quality referrals. The committee offers guidance on resolving any potential conflicts, so that all members can benefit from belonging to the chapter.

The Membership Committee ensures members uphold the BNI Code of Ethics, and offers support to members if necessary.

Ready to Jump Into the BNI Kitchen?

Like all the best “MasterChef” creations, the magic of a successful BNI chapter is finding the right combination of ingredients. If you are ready to help your chapter find the best mix of people, then talk to your current President about how you can join the Membership Committee and become part of the next Leadership Team.

Categories : Leadership Teams
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This month we are continuing our short series on the Leadership Roles within BNI. It will help you decide whether and how you want to raise our visibility and credibility by supporting your chapter in the new term, starting in October. In this issue, we are looking at the role of the member in control of the chapter’s finances and speaker roster: the BNI Treasurer.

Keeping the Chapter Financially on Track

The role of the BNI Treasurer is one of the important and highly visible prongs that make a strong leadership team. In control of the chapter’s purse strings, the BNI Treasurer ensures that your chapter’s finances are shipshape and membership dues are up to date.

Communication & Support

As your chapter’s Treasurer, your responsibilities don’t stop at money matters, though: the role is also supporting the President and Vice President in providing leadership, motivation, and direction for the chapter. Those three members lead each weekly meeting, and they need to work well together to make each session successful and dynamic.

Each meeting is a chance to gain more visibility and credibility amongst a large group of potential referrers: your chapter members and your visitors.

Making the 10-Minute Presentation Work

Another VCP opportunity for the Treasurer is the weekly announcement of the 10-minute presentation speaker. They also make sure that the presenter is clear on the format of the talk, and that a door prize is available.
The Treasurer supports the speaker by introducing them with some background information, and focussing the group’s attention on the upcoming talk – effectively setting the speaker up for a successful presentation during which they can concentrate on their business and requests for ideal referral sources.

What Else is Involved?

As the Treasurer you are in contact with the other Leadership Team members, the Regional Director, your meeting venue, and all chapter members and visitors – so your visibility is very high. Speaking at the weekly meeting requires the Treasurer to be a dynamic and confident presenter.

  • Stand in for the President and VP in their absence
  • Look after the chapter’s finances
  • Update chapter on due membership renewals
  • Maintain the speaker roster & introduce the weekly speaker
  • Support the 10-minute presenter
  • Work on the chapter’s quality and direction
  • Receive networking training

Weekly, the chapter gets a chance to get to know you better. Treasurers, like Vice Presidents and Presidents, tend to receive an increased number of referrals during their term.

Are You Ready to Be A Leader?

What great ideas do you have for your chapter? Which leadership position do you think would suit you best, which would be an exciting opportunity for you?

Whatever position you choose, you can be sure that your visibility and credibility will receive a boost that results in more referrals and business opportunities for you.

Ask your current President how you can become part of the next Leadership Team.

Categories : Leadership Teams
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Last month we started our little series on the Leadership Roles within BNI to help you decide if and how you want to support your chapter in the new term starting in October. This and next month, the BNI Leadership Teams for the next term will be finalised.

In this issue we are taking a look at the role of the BNI Vice President (“VP”).

Anyone for More VCP?

As BNI members, once or twice a year we all get the opportunity to raise our visibility and credibility by serving on our chapter’s Leadership Team, starting either on 1 April and 1 October. For the next round, the newly-appointed leaders will start their training in September.

Vice President: Steering The BNI Ship

As your chapter’s Vice President you are the driving force of your group, setting membership policies and accountability standards.

Your new responsibilities come with many added benefits. Each task is a chance to gain more visibility and credibility amongst a large group of potential referrers – your chapter and its visitors, and even other Leadership Teams.

As the Vice President you help shape the direction, member quality, and category composition of your chapter by:

  • Chairing and leading the work of membership committee
  • Presenting weekly and annual statistics, issues and their proposed solutions to your members
  • Stepping in for the President running the entire weekly meeting in their absence
  • Analysing attendance and participation trends
  • Networking at monthly regional Leadership Lunches
  • Receiving training that makes you an even better networker

Show Me The Money!

By being highly visible to members and visitors while running your slot at each meeting, you get the automatic chance to increase your referrals. It’s an undisputed fact: Vice Presidents, like Presidents, experience a significant raise in trust levels amongst their members – and receive an increased number of referrals during their term.

But wait, there’s more…

Many regions hold regular regional Leadership Team Lunches, at which the Vice President (along with the President and Treasurer of the chapter) gets the chance to meet their BNI Director, fellow VPs and other leaders. Great new ideas and initiatives are born at these meetings – and many a new connection and referral source is discovered.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path – and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, Will You Captain Your Chapter’s Success?

What change could you bring about? Which membership initiatives, motivational ideas and best practices would you implement as a Vice President, or in another role? What leadership position suits your situation best – or could be a great opportunity for personal and business growth for you?

Whichever position you choose – Vice President, President, Treasurer, Membership Committee Member, Visitor Host, Education or Events Co-Ordinator – you can be sure that your visibility and credibility will receive a boost that results in more referrals and business opportunities for you.

Ask your current Vice President for their experience – and how you can become part of the next Leadership Team.

Categories : Leadership Teams
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It’s that feverish time of the year again: in July/August the BNI Leadership Teams for the next six-month term (starting in October) will be finalised. Have you put your hand up for a role yet? To help you decide which position is the one for you, we are running a new column on the various Leadership Team roles.

More Visibility & Credibility

Could YOU be the next president?

As BNI members, twice a year we all get the opportunity to raise our visibility and credibility by serving on our chapter’s Leadership Team for a six-month period, starting either on 1 April and 1 October. For the next round in October, the newly-appointed leaders will start their training in September.

President’s Responsibilities: Multiply Your Givers Gain®

As your chapter’s President your new responsibilities come with many added benefits. Each responsibility is an opportunity to gain more exposure and visibility amongst a large group of potential referrers.

As the President you get the chance to shape the future of your chapter by:

  • Running the weekly meetings and keeping members involved
  • Heading the whole leadership team
  • Setting goals for, inspiring and leading your chapter
  • Networking at monthly regional Leadership Lunches
  • Receiving training that makes you an even better networker

What Else Is In It For Me?

By being highly visible to members and visitors while running your meeting, you get the chance to increase your referrals. While numbers vary across chapters, the facts are clear – Presidents exude expertise, and as a result experience a significant raise in trust levels and number of referrals.

But that’s not all.

Each day, two BNI Presidents are featured on the BNI Australia Facebook page and Twitter account, including their name, chapter and link to their website. The BNI Australia Facebook page has over 800 fans and is rapidly growing its following. It is also highly ranked for content by Facebook, with an EdgeR ank score of 29, meaning that the majority of fans are viewing featured Presidents’ business details each day.

Leadership Team Resources

And you don’t have to go it alone: The world’s best BNI Leadership Team practices are now readily available on It’s a great resource that provides absolute certainty as to who is responsible for what on your team. There are videos, PDF files – and all the other information you need to easily perform well in your leadership role.

So, Are You Up To Being A Leader?

Soon your chapter will look to find amongst its members those who are willing to step up into a leadership role for the October term.

What great ideas and best practices would you implement as a President, or in another role? Which leadership position do you think would suit your personality best – or would be a great opportunity for personal growth for you?

Whichever position you choose – President, Vice President, Treasurer, Membership Committee Member, Visitor Host, Education or Events Co-Ordinator – you can be sure that your visibility and credibility will receive a boost that results in more referrals and business opportunities for you.

Ask your current President how you can become part of the next Leadership Team.

Categories : Leadership Teams
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BNI Learning is the new flagship online learning platform pioneered by the team of Directors of BNI in Australia, together with BNI Director of e-Learning Mark Graber who “in his spare time” is the Principal of Websmart Design.

With the support of Ivan Misner and the team at BNI HQ in the US, Australia is trialling new ways to effectively upskill members in world’s best BNI practices. This is absolutely necessary if we are to listen to adult learning principles, and help members get the most of their BNI experience.

To date over 1,700 members from around the world are active on BNI Learning, including over 700 members in Australia. Ready in time for the April training events, members were encouraged to complete 30 mins of online training on the “how to’s” of their new roles. This allowed the face-to-face training to go in more detail of the “why” of BNI practices, and the feedback from members has so far been outstanding!

For example in Perth where well over 100 members were trained, the feedback was:
– 93% of members felt that the online training answered their questions about their role and what was expected of them; and
– 94% of members said they would recommend this training to others.

We were particularly pleased that Members who had previously undertaken leadership training found the new training refreshing, and they gained new inspiration and knowledge to take back to their chapters.

Michael Sinclair said “I was impressed by the new format of leadership training. Instead of spending three hours going through who does what and when for each meeting, a quick 30 minute “how to” online training session with a short video went through these basics. The face-to-face group discussion fostered discussion between chapters, developing ideas that we could then bring back to improve our own chapters.”
Michael Sinclair, Harper Group Pty Ltd.

The new format of face-to-face training was conversational and, an aspect that was particularly appreciated, allowed members to share their knowledge and experience.

If you haven’t tried BNI Learning for yourself, go to and check with your local BNI Director for your enrolment key!