Greg Savage Guest Writer (Pictured crouching down in center front)
As a newcomer to the international men’s organization Mentor Discover Inspire (MDI), I began attending weekly meetings in September 2016. As weeks went by I observed, listened to the men, and settled into my circle. By mid-October, I declared becoming a member of MDI, began my new membership training, created a 90-day CPR (vision statement), and designed a fun activity for an overnight event for my team.
We had a blast with the overnight by the way! I created a 3-D archery competition for my team up in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains as we piggybacked from prior weeks of building a bow (out of a 1 x 2 x 6 piece of red oak wood purchased at the local Lowe’s shop). The camaraderie and experience gained by shooting an arrow towards 3-D animal targets scattered throughout a deep wooded property forced primitive elements and fierce competition. It was perfect!!
Soon into January, I realized as much as I had success from the past months I was “going along” with my new membership program. I was letting it “do me” rather than “taking action, taking charge, and paving a way.” Days later, my Captain called and asked, “OK, Savage, what’s next for your new membership training program?” For me, it was time to take it to another level. It was time to focus on building and expanding not just my team but also my Atlanta Division.
It was time to create a “guest event,” to create an event that would allow new men to experience and grasp quickly an understanding of what we do in MDI by doing what we do. What best then to create an event that allows men to experience the MDI way! Also, it was time for gaining new members for our Dog Soldier Division and Legacy Discovery Weekend (LDW) in late April.
Subsequently, the initial title of “guest” event was changed to “fun” event to counteract any “drinking the Kool-Aid” type association. Plus as men, we just wanted to go have some “fun.” I created a CPR with the goal of having 15 guests that included food that fed every man completely, a drumming circle and a physical as well as spiritual experience.
The actual results of our “Fun Event?” We had 19 guests, seven team members, along with our Regional Coordinator Brian Childers and LDW enrollment team. A total of 29 men. Apparently, with 19 guests, it was an unprecedented event.
Beyond this preamble and backstory, what matters was who I was being and the lessons I received by leading this event.
I was being “fun”. F U N! Fun to the core was what drove me. Inspiration followed closely behind as I asked each man on my team what fun was to them and their personal “why” they would have a fun event. I wanted to know what kept them coming back meeting after meeting when they could be doing other things or nothing at all.
Each man heard me and tried that on. It brought the inspiration of what was the next important element of all. Give it away. This expresses the idea of giving away what we’ve gained in our journey with MDI. Give it to every man we already knew, recently met, met at the gas station, grocery check-out … anywhere and everywhere.
It was simple actually. When I got the “fuck out my head” and connected with my men on my team in a way that lived truthfully for each of them, they had their “why” that meant the most to them. That “why” allowed for inspired deep and authentic connection to other men. It also allowed for fun – pure, confident, uninhibited expression of each man.
Today, men are challenged with so much in our society. Our roles in relationships, marriages, families, the workplace, community drive us to an ideal for which we strive. The basis of what MDI makes us strive – to be better men. How do we be better men than we’ve ever been before?
This all leads me to three questions you can ask yourself. I leave you with these:
- What do you want in your life?
- What is your “why” of what you want?
- “What’s next” for you as the man you are?