Ask any successful BNI member what is the best part of being a member and they are likely to say “the people I’ve met and the relationships I’ve built,” but if you dig a little deeper, you may come to discover that mutual accountability is what keeps them coming back.

Just like when you are rowing a boat or riding a tandem bike, no one wants to feel that they are the only one pulling an oar or peddling. The relationships that are built in BNI are predicated on the idea that everyone is held to standards—fairly high ones at that. That, in turn, generates trust—which is the bedrock of any long term relationship.

Those member standards include:

  • Regular weekly attendance at chapter meetings.
  • Meeting regularly with other BNI members outside of the weekly meeting.
  • Giving quality referrals.
  • Following up and nurturing referrals you are given.
  • Bringing visitors to weekly meetings.
  • Becoming even more educated about referrals and networking and sharing that knowledge.
  • Giving gratitude to those who have helped you through referrals, knowledge or mentoring.

If you read them closely, you’ll see that these standards have a lot in common with the way that successful businesses are run. That’s not a coincidence, over the last 30 or so years BNI has been refining and improving on the processes and support that helps business people from all walks of life succeed. As an organization, if it’s true that BNI is only as strong as its weakest oar puller (member), it simply makes sense to ensure that every BNI chapter has the very best members and the highest amount of mutual trust and respect possible—it’s good for the members, the chapter, the organization and the economy. That’s a boat that’s worth rowing!

PR Chick Jill Bode founded Designed Write Public Relations in 1998. Working with recycled bubble gum, string and duct tape, she managed to craft a cutting-edge, custom PR consortium that works with clients all over the world–including BNI Central Indiana.