One of the strengths of a referral network or networking group or networking group like THE BOARDROOM EDGE is that the members of a chapter become friends. One of the weaknesses of a referral network or networking group like THE BOARDROOM EDGE is that the members of a chapter become friends.
Friends do not like to hold friends accountable. However, accountability is the key to any successful referral network; therein lies the paradox. A referral network or networking group like THE BOARDROOM EDGE is not a friendship organization. It is a business referral organization. Friendships must develop to make THE BOARDROOM EDGE work.
THE BOARDROOM EDGE is not for everyone. I hoped that the people would appreciate that structure and accountability are essential would join THE BOARDROOM EDGE. Moreover, I hope the people who did not think these factors were significant would join another group.
What is the importance of accountability and support?
I am not trying to be flippant. Over time, I have learned that a structured referral network or networking group like THE BOARDROOM EDGE is not for everyone. People who understand that structure and accountability are essential are the ones I want to be a part of THE BOARDROOM EDGE.
That said, I believe THE BOARDROOM EDGE is not as “inflexible” as some people may think. Remember, people, implement systems. The BOARDROOM EDGE system, when executed correctly, works well and allows local control as well as a certain amount of flexibility.
THE BOARDROOM EDGE is made up of salespeople, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. Running an organization with tens of thousands of people fitting this profile is a little like herding cats. It is difficult to keep everyone on track. To do so efficiently, there has to be systems and accountability.
However, these systems and accountability have to be within a context of help and support. I believe that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. We strive hard to teach our THE BOARDROOM EDGE members to train and educate members to fully understand and implement that. Unfortunately, that takes time. And not everyone understands that these policies need to be applied in a way that shows that the group does have expectations and also cares about the members.
This is important. Referral networks like THE BOARDROOM EDGE members must create an atmosphere of both accountability and support. It is a paradox of friendship and membership.
I think we are doing a few things right: we serve a population of the world that believes systems and structure will help them build their business. That might be part of the reason why every year we pass millions of referrals generating billions of dollars worth of business for our members.
Why accept mediocrity when excellence is an option? Accountability in the context of healthy professional relationships can create distinction within a THE BOARDROOM EDGE chapter. The paradox of a referral network or networking group like THE BOARDROOM EDGE is that friendships must develop and accountability must reign. We must both develop friendships AND expect accountability, which is applied in a way that shows we care about people and their success.