“We are all MDI” is a great theme for my first article in MDI’s Legacy Magazine. I am honored and privileged to serve you men as your President for the next two years. One of my big priorities during my term in this job is to break down the “Us and Them” that frequently gets in our way as an effective organization for men.
You may recognize this phenomenon as:
- The men on your team vs. the leadership of your division
- Your region vs. the leadership of MDI.
These are only two examples and there are many more. When we, each and every one of us, own the success of MDI then this context goes away. The most tangible weapon I have found to fight this is for men to connect with each other across any lines that may divide them. Whether attending the Big Bubba event, as over 160 men did last fall, or participating on phone calls when you are in leadership, the more we connect the harder it becomes to see a difference between “Them” and “Us.”
To that end my leadership team is committed to an aggressive travel schedule so that you men get to meet as many of “Us” as you can. In January I visited a new MDI team in a new territory, North Carolina. Those men are building a new division in the Southeast and are very grateful to be part of our International Organization. In February I attended the Mid-Atlantic Regional meeting where a new Regional Coordinator, Guy Prandstatter, was elected. Due to the weather in the Northeast, my train was late and I was with those men for but a short time. Geoff Tomlinson of Eastern Canada, the Vice President of Operations, was in attendance as well. We do our best work face-to-face, and it was good to be in the presence of so many great men, both new and old. I will be at the Southwest Regional meeting February 28, at the RC face-to-face meeting March 7-9, and in Western Canada in April. I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can. Please make a point to approach me and introduce yourself.
There are several initiatives being worked on by a number of men in MDI that will offer all of us the opportunity to connect and move us forward. We want all men in MDI to love their team meetings, to be so proud of what goes on there, so much so they cannot wait to bring a man as a guest to see what we do and feel what it is like to work in the atmosphere of great, masculine men.
The world is full of masculine suffering, and we have an answer that can help any and all men. We know 80 percent of the men who come to visit us will have a positive experience but will decide it is not for them at this time. For the other 20 percent they will discover something they have been looking for but didn’t know it existed or didn’t know how to find it. Our Team Development Program (formerly Membership), led by Jack Lupone of the Southwest Region, seeks to support team captains in their development as leaders and give them all the resources available to deliver great team meetings to their men. Our Outreach Program (formerly Growth) led by Jason Campos-Keck of the Southeast Region, endeavors to teach us all how to find men to invite, how to invite guests and how to treat guests when they show up. These are important in our pursuit of growing and developing.
Dave Plante from New England is leading a team of men in Special Ops, focused on building teams and divisions in areas where we do not currently operate. We have been contacted by men in Edmonton, Alberta as well as men in Florida, Ohio, Arizona and Hawaii so far.
Denis Moreau, also of New England, is spearheading our new technology programs not the least of which is our new member website. I know many of you have heard of a membership site before. But just wait. What I have seen so far during the construction phase is beyond anything I ever imagined. Paying dues online is one thing. Another thing altogether is being able to connect with men, seek advice, coaching and counsel, research documents outlining the many areas of leadership development, and many, many other functions.
There are a number of other men on my team working diligently in many areas. You will hear from them, and me, about their great work in the coming issues. More importantly, I hope you see the results on your teams and in your regions across North America. But their work is all for naught if we are not all MDI. It will take work on the part of every member, both present and future, to make the improvements we all want. We may each have to set our own egos and entrenched ways of doing things aside to try something new if it will benefit all of us.
Yes, think about how this can benefit MDI and our men … but also you in your entire life. We all make decisions every day to do things that are not the easiest, not the most comfortable or not what we may like at the time. But when it benefits our family, our business or our community, is it not worth it?
Thank you all for your support, even in the form of disagreement. I commit to work hard to earn that support and lead my team to make a better MDI for every one of you and the hundreds of men who will join us in the coming years.
Take Care and Take Charge,