May 8, 2019

BNI U.S. National Conference 2019 Recap

During the first week of April, your BNI Heartland Director Team travelled to Dallas, TX for the BNI U.S. National Conference. We joined in with nearly 600 Directors from across the country to live out our core value of Lifelong Learning. 

The week was packed with educational presentations from some of the best BNI leaders and speakers from across the country. In addition to our founder Dr. Ivan Misner’s presentation “Who’s In Your Room,”based on his latest book, two additional keynote speakers, Mike Rayburn and Rick Sapio were featured. We'd like to reflect and recap a few of the things we learned from them and the entire event in this blog.

Many BNI members are already familiar with Ivan’s analogy of your life being lived in one room, and that one needs to exercise their right to control their room by using a “doorman” to help determine who enters. A BNI specific version of this book was released a few years ago. Ivan’s co-authors added content and exercises that expanded the application of this concept to encompass your entire life. Ivan reminded us that once someone is in our room, they remain there forever, but we can use our "doorman" to help us say no to people, and other tools like “benign neglect” to reduce the impact of those already in, with a goal of leaving only those in our room who help us live our best life.      

Mike Rayburn spoke at a BNI Conference a few years ago, posing “The What IF?” question. It’s a challenge to visualize what can be, even if it seems impossible, and then finding a path to make it happen. After delivering that keynote, Ivan Misner asked Mike where he could possibly go from there. Mike fulfilled that challenge with a brand new presentation: “What’s Next.” From this, Senior Area Director Brandon Souba recalls an important message: “Our vision controls our perception, our perception becomes reality.” Brandon observes that often when we talk about perception being reality, it is due to some negative situation. But a positive vision gives us the opportunity to control that perception! We all can put more work in on our goals and day to day activities, but when you have a vision and you focus on that every day to the point it becomes your reality, you control what others perceive about you. In this spirit, Vince would like to challenge you to visualize what’s next in your business, and in your BNI chapter. Then shoot for the moon! Even if you miss, the view is phenomenal.

Our other keynote Speaker was Rick Sapio, who co-authored “Who’s In Your Room,” with Ivan Misner. Rick talked more in depth about “Success by Subtraction.” He shared his personal story of how he came to realize the importance of simplicity, consciousness, and rhythms in our actions. He encouraged us to use what he calls a catalyzing statement along with a clear, concise purpose and values to create a frame for success. Rick reminded us that as human beings, we crave rhythm. We love steady repeating patterns and actions, and that it is the job of a purposeful leader to beat the drum and never stop. The faster we find monotony in purpose and action, the happier we will be.

The theme of simplifying our environment, and building positive rhythms as established by our keynote speakers were echoed throughout the conference.  

Wyoming Area Director Nellie Nutting appreciated the breakout session about how to “Speak Like an Entrepreneur” from BNI Chicago Executive Director Dawn Lyons. Nellie recalls: “We can look at our membership as a part of our business as opposed to something in addition to our business, the accountability piece is key to our business success as well as our BNI success.  The activities recorded in the Power of One report are putting food on the table, starting college funds, and providing family trips for our members.  The WHY of each member's business is linked to the activities performed by each member of their success team - their BNI chapter.” 

As a team, we also had the opportunity to connect and exchange ideas with BNI chapters from around the United States. We’ve already begun to implement some of the lessons we’ve learned from what has (and hasn’t) worked elsewhere. We hope we were able to provide some insight to others as well. Look for more to come from your Director Team, and shared in BNI University in the near future.

In the meantime, we encourage you to seek out more from our keynote presenters at the following links:

Dr. Ivan Misner – “Who’s in Your Room”:

Mike Rayburn - and will give you an idea of what Mike was like.

Rick Sapio - contains portions of Rick’s captivating story.

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