It’s that time of year again ... award season! Hollywood’s got The Oscars, London celebrates The Brits – and Sydney recently glammed up for the BNI Sydney CBD South Red Carpet Awards. Hosted by Bob and Louise Greenup, the Executive Directors of BNI Sydney CBD South, the Red Carpet Awards honour BNI chapters as well as individual BNI members’ achievements during the previous year.
From Most Valuable Player 2013 (as voted on contribution by chapter members) in each chapter, via Gold and Black Belt Networkers 2013 (more than 50 and 100 one-on-one meetings per calendar year, respectively), to that most coveted of awards – Chapter of the Year 2013 – the anticipation was once again building and building in the room this year. Who would be the winner for 2013?
Our chapter, like many others in the region, had been working hard to keep improving and adding to past achievements – and it showed. The standards were high and competition was stiff. At our tables the tension and excitement was almost palpable as we got closer and closer to that final award announcement. BNI All About Business had already been able to proudly celebrate a top-tier number of Gold Networkers and receiving two of only three Black Belt Networker awards. But would we take out the top prize? BNI All About Business is a vocal bunch, and I am sure they heard our excited and happy whoops a few blocks down the road when we were declared Chapter of the Year 2013!
“It takes a true team effort to win the coveted BNI Chapter of the Year award,” says our President Sergio Porfirio. So, what makes us at BNI All About Business different?
Vision & Purpose – We created a Vision Statement for our chapter in 2011: “All About Business is the most trusted business community in Australia, and we go beyond business.” That vision encourages us to develop our relationships personally, professionally, and within the community. Being clear that our chapter exists for a purpose means all of us individually have a greater than usual commitment to the group as a whole.
Strategy – We have a rotating group of members who meet to steer the ship, assist the leadership, and provide a sounding board for member feedback. Different to the Membership Committee, this Strategic Advisory Board is tasked with protecting the vision while leveraging all the structure and policies of BNI.
Commitment & Engagement – One of the benefits of having a shared vision is that BNI AAB is never short of volunteers to take up leadership and other roles in the group. We always have more volunteers than we have roles for! And with 20% of the membership involved in the Membership Committee, we not only spread the load to avoid burn-out, but we give the Membership Committee the scope to review applicants, members and renewing members with the right amount of due diligence.
Visibility – We rotate our leadership positions every six months to enable all members’ access to the visibility that leadership brings. This practice also keeps our leadership team fresh and motivated.
And underneath it all, we’re powered by BNI:
“What makes All About Business special is that we know we can always be better, do more, and make each other more money. And we’re willing to put in the time and effort to make that happen,” says BNI AAB’s current Education Coordinator, Wendy Lloyd Curley. Wendy, who is a previous BNI AAB President, Vice President and Visitor Host Coordinator, has been our Most Valuable Member of the Year in 2012 and 2013. We were back the next morning after the awards, working on our strategy for the year – to make sure that each member within our team keeps on winning in 2014. “You can’t buy that kind of commitment. It comes from a much deeper place,” says Sergio. I think, he’s right.