Why isn’t my membership to the Executives Association helping my bottom line?
The Executives Association of New Jersey
“Why isn’t my membership to the Executives Association helping my bottom line in the way I thought it would”?
Written by: Robert McCarthy, Heuer & Company
The current EANJ effectiveness committee was formed in part to address that question and if we’re honest it’s probably been asked by many EANJ members since its inception in 1935. There is no one answer because the reasons are as varied as our members; but because it remains a relevant question for some today it demands our attention.
First off let’s be clear that we are a group of highly motivated entrepreneurs with high standards and worthy aspirations. As such, we can’t help but be disappointed from time to time. Disappointment always stems from some unmet expectation that we ourselves created in a world we have little control over. Being the resourceful and adept individuals that we are, we are far more likely to forge on despite our disappointments and perceived setbacks because that’s what we do, that’s what we know. But we need to be careful that we don’t become complacent in our efforts.
So we as the “effectiveness” committee began to identify where the group was having trouble so we could make improvements that would benefit us as individuals and the membership. With good intentions and a desire to do a good job we began by setting our sights on working with the members who weren’t actively engaged, who weren’t making the effort to meet with fellow and new members, who weren’t leveraging their existing outside relationships for the benefit of others, who were falling behind on their goals, who demonstrated a lack of follow through and so on and so on.
We recognized that in order to have an effective group we simply needed effective members. How easy it was for us then to pick off the weak ones and to be critical of others outside of the committee! That process was important and perhaps necessary in that some changes were made, attitudes began to shift and we believe that modest improvements have resulted. But the process revealed something even more important. Each time we peeled back the layers on an issue we found that at the heart of all of our successes was an example of the sincere willingness of someone to give of oneself. It was a willingness that went beyond simply sharing a lead, making a quick introduction or just attending meetings to get some “points”. It was the willingness to give of our most precious gift and our most valuable resource; our time.
In discovering this truth we slowly began to shift our focus from others to ourselves. In doing so we began to see our own individual shortcomings, the missed opportunities and our own unwillingness to share of our time for the benefit of others. We could list the petty reasons why we hadn’t but struggled with any real excuses. So just as we adjusted our focus and our own attitudes for the betterment of the group we at the effectiveness committee ask that you too look inward and ask yourself if you’ve been generous with your time in the direct service of others more than being concerned about the return on that investment. It can be a hard concept to embrace; especially in our fast paced culture. (Read the Go Giver). We have no delusions that significant changes in attitude and perceptions occur overnight but feel strongly that collectively we should be bold and strive to simply give more without keeping score and to trust that it’s in the giving that we better our relationships and our bottom lines.
To put all of this in stark contrast really imagine for a moment the following two scenarios:
1. Imagine weekly EANJ meetings where every single one of us came with expectations of only receiving leads and introductions with the attitude that because we got up early, dressed right, paid our dues and made the effort to attend we were going to leave with so much from so many friends and colleagues.
2. Now imagine weekly EANJ meetings where every single one of us came really prepared. Prepared to specifically connect with at least one member on something good for them. To come ready to listen with a sincere desire to assist others. To come with a willingness to be generous with our time beyond the meeting in helping the many friends and colleagues without direct expectations of an immediate return.
Clearly we all know which of the two meetings we’d prefer to attend and which one would yield the best results for all. So the one (maybe two) important question(s) we leave you with for now are; are you willing to be a generous contributor? If so, how can we help you in your efforts to be that truly effective member?