About Us

Our Story

 

In 2000, a small group of men created a men’s organization with the goal that it would be here for our grandsons. Since that day, MDI has been unconditionally committed to men winning in their lives by inspiring them to pursue a purpose bigger than themselves.

That’s us in a nutshell. Here’s some key things inside that nutshell:

While our code compels us to be humble, we will say this: while many men’s groups have come and gone, a big reason why we’ve stayed around and even grown is the strength of our organization.

Like the men in our teams, the teams themselves stay strong and on course because of the support, structure, and leadership of MDI.

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“MDI is not about fixing men. It’s a tool for men to help change the world.”

Dave Smith, MDI member since 1994

 

Our Mission

To cause greatness by mentoring men to live with excellence and, as mature masculine leaders, create successful families, careers and communities.

Our Vision

A world where Honor, Selflessness, Commitment, Integrity, Training and Learning give men the wisdom and courage to serve all men, women, and children for the betterment of humanity.

Why join MDI?

Diversity is so important, we’re calling it out.

To MDI, diversity isn’t a nice, progressive idea. It’s a selfishly essential one. We live and die by the life-changing wisdom we get from each other, which only comes from the hugely diverse viewpoints found in our communities of men. MDI welcomes all men without regard to race, age, ethnicity, sexual identity or orientation, religion, politics, national origin or disability.

Our members run the spectrum of ethnicity and political belief, are married, divorced, in long-term relationships or have never married, are straight and gay, professional and working class. Our youngest member is 18; our oldest is in his 80’s. Our only membership requirements are that you be a man of legal age, pay annual dues, and adhere to our code of honor.

How to Join

MDI is a commitment. So we’ve created three free steps to help ease you in and see if it’s a commitment you want to make.

1. Start with a click

Sign up for more information about our online introduction program and watch an introductory video.

2. Learn the basics

Go a little deeper with a couple of free, hour-long training sessions.

3. Try out a team

Join four free meetings, so you’ll experience the brotherhood, wisdom and growth waiting for you.

From our president

A Note to Women

This site is addressed to men. But women are a huge part of many men’s lives, so I wanted to speak to you, the women out there.

When women learn that their man has joined a men’s team, they often have mixed feelings. They sometimes wonder why he’s able to open up to other men but not to her, or they may think it’s just a place to go and vent about her.

MDI is not a men’s locker room, we’re not a cult, and most of all, we’re not a place to bash you or women in general. It’s simply not permitted. What we are is a safe space for your man to imagine and work toward the best version of himself, with other men as his guide, support, and bullshit detector.

– Ian Kennard, President, MDI

“MDI is like a laboratory for life.”

Michael Fowlkes, MDI Member since 1993

Our Code of Honor

These are the principles we live by. We don’t expect new or prospective members to understand them right away, but they help us try to live honorably, and be the men we want to be.

To be successful, a man must possess a strong and healthy ego. However, a man’s ego can consume him if he is not the Master of It. A man without a clear sense of his commitment will allow himself to be led by whatever happens to be at hand in the moment (usually his emotions or ego). Commitment before Ego demands two disciplines:

1. To practice and possess a firm understanding and adherence to one’s purpose and commitment; and

2. To hold an iron mastery over one’s ego.

In order for a man to have a true sense of himself and the world around him, he must Honor the Truth. Honoring the truth requires that a man possess the wisdom and courage necessary to:

  • Discern what the truth is
  • Face the truth about himself and/or others even when painful
  • Understand the value of truth
  • Understand the limitations and sometimes harmful effect of the truth
  • Understand that speaking the truth must be tempered and governed by one’s purpose and commitment
  • Understand that Honor the Truth does not mean “Tell the Truth”

The ability to keep confidences or secrets is a key component of trusting relationships. In order to Respect Confidentiality, one must:

  • Understand the importance of confidentiality and its effect on trust
  • Understand what is and what is not confidential and under what circumstances
  • Understand that blind confidentiality robs a man of much of the richness to be found in his many relationships and is really not respect at all
Keep Your Word simply means that one ensures that his actions are consistent with his words.

Being a Three-Dimensional Man requires:

  • An understanding of what the three dimensions embody (Ghandi: “I Give a Fuck”; Clint: “I Don’t Give a Fuck”; and Curly: “I Don’t Take Myself Too Seriously”)
  • The ability to access these three dimensions when necessary
  • An understanding that being a 3-D man does not mean that one is equally comfortable with each dimension, only that he has ready access to the dimension
Men live their lives in relationship with others. To the degree that a man lives his life unprepared, his actions have a negative impact on those around him. In order to be honorable, a man must discipline himself to anticipate life’s challenges and be prepared to deal with them. Only then can a man claim personal honor and responsibility for himself and have the capacity to help others.
The element “Defend Humanity” is not exclusive of other kinds of life on the planet. The purpose of “Defend Humanity” is to remind men to hold a context big enough to embrace all of humanity. That one’s actions and purpose impact all of humanity, not just one’s own group, community or tribe. Doing this creates a higher purpose which is necessary for our collective survival (The law of purpose and context – in order to exist at one level, you must adopt the purpose of the next higher level).

In order to live this element of the Code, one must:

  • Understand what being faithful to the men means
  • We remain faithful to the men by being true to our principles and values
  • We never choose personal loyalty over loyalty to our principles and values

In order to live this element of the Code, one must:

  • Understand the value of having a code of honor in a man’s life
  • Keep the Code and its value alive by living it, teaching it, calling out men who have lost touch with the Code
  • Call out men who add or take away from the code
It is not honorable to do battle with those who are weaker than you. An honorable man knows that it is preferable to avoid battle than to do battle (providing that one’s purpose or commitment are not compromised). When faced with a weaker opponent, it is usually possible to withdraw safely without doing battle. Engaging in battles with weaker opponents is usually done only to assuage one’s ego.

In order to live one’s life fighting only honorable battles, one must:

  • Understand what’s there that’s is worth fighting for
  • Understand what is not worth fighting for
  • Have enough mastery over one’s ego to never fight battles in defense of one’s ego

To earn and honor rank, one must understand that:

  • Rank does not necessarily carry a “title”
  • Rank carries both privilege and responsibility
  • Privilege and responsibility must be earned, otherwise it is not respected
  • Earned privilege and responsibility must be respected or it has no value
  • The most important rank that a man will ever honor is whatever rank he currently holds. This is the essence of humility
Humility can be described as “A conscious awareness and acceptance of one’s place among all things”. A man must know who and what he is and how he fits into the community of men or he won’t be able to find his place or connect authentically with others.

In order to Embrace All Men, one must:

  • Understand that the parts of other men that are difficult to accept are often the parts of ourselves that we deny
  • Understand that we ourselves are capable of any crime if we lose sight of our purpose and commitment
  • Understand that other men, regardless of their actions or crimes are simply men who have lost sight of their true purpose
  • Look unflinchingly at one’s own darkness

To Be an Example to Children, one must understand that:

  • An honorable man takes responsibility for the lives and future of the children in his life
  • The example that he sets teaches children lessons that will either serve them or weaken them
  • To live this element intentionally requires that a man live a disciplined and purposeful life
  • Having children in one’s life and being committed to be an example to them provides an invaluable benefit to a man by forcing him to be a better man than he would otherwise be
  • Being an example to children does not mean the man should pretend to be something he is not just because he’s around children (this is not being an example, it’s bullshitting)
  • Being an example to children does not mean being a “good” example because “good” is just someone else’s subjective judgement
  • Being an example to children is about taking responsibility for the example one sets and having that example be an expression of the man at his best