Leading from the Back – Messages from the Outgoing and Incoming Prez 

My time as MDI President is winding down. Though I am excited about our future moving forward, I do have the chance to reflect on the last few years and how it all came about for me. 

In 2002 I found myself bitter and angry, still getting in screaming matches with my ex-wife. I wanted to stay in touch with my 7-year-old daughter Alana. I convinced the principal of her school to have a “Dad’s Day.” Little did I know how my life was about to change. One of the dads present was Doug Belden, a man who said he’d like to go out for a beer sometime.

The next week I met him at a restaurant in Pacific Beach; he was drinking tea and informed me we don’t drink before a team meeting. I asked what that was, and he replied, “Come on I’ll show you.”

I got there and one man called another man out into the middle of the circle. The man began yelling and screaming so much so I thought his veins would pop out. The other man calmly looked on and owned the fact he let his teammate down. After his jump into the bay water, I found myself attending team meetings. This was a special place. 

What I learned during my time on the team was to not engage in meaningless battles with my wife. (“You can’t win. It is a waste of energy.”) I also learned how:

  • To be a better father
  • To listen or at least attempt to hear what is being said
  • To interview for a job 
  • To create solid intentions so that I not say or do something I would regret 
  • To write a legacy letter to my child so she knew exactly how I felt about her 

My temper was no longer getting the best of me. I was growing up, and my world began to change. I can keep going on and on about what I was receiving. Yes my dues were worth it.

I became a Team Captain, a Division Coordinator and a Regional Coordinator so I could give back to the men. 

And now, I am so grateful for the last two years as MDI President.

My core team did a great job. Jim Ellis, Justin LaBarge, Doug Rubin, Bart Vance, David Plante, Eric Tilgner, Rick Wright, Mark Gofstein, and Jim Ellis … mentioning him twice makes him happy. They carried the load. I am thankful for the partnership with Chris Christopher, Olaf Krop and the MDI Board. I am grateful to Michael Fowlkes for his wisdom and mentorship. To Ed Aponte, Stephen Crossley and the men in the Southeast who made the Big Bubba come true and kick ass!

Finally for Stan Snow – I know you will be great! I am confident you will take us boldly where we need to be. Go get them. You will make us all proud.

   ~ Sandy Peisner, Outgoing MDI President  

A Side-note For the Trust of the Men

As members of MDI, we learn to trust that our teammates and leaders carry standards high and hold our men’s territory as confidential and sacred. In early October MDI had a member use our International Roster in an inappropriate manner, using it to solicit all of us for his own personal gain. While I support men to be successful in their lives, it is not permissible for members to use rosters to solicit their own business. I regret that this took place and will take specific steps to ensure it does not happen again. Know that the member has been cleaned up for this break, and know that a policy has been developed to help guide us into the future. 

Thank you, 

Sandy Peisner

At the end of October 2014, 180 men gathered in Atlanta to be part of an MDI event, the Big Bubba. As President-Elect of MDI I had a few minutes to address the men on Saturday night. Here is what I talked about:

I believe that the majority of the men’s teams operating in MDI are what I call “marginally adequate.” By that I mean they are just barely good enough for the men on that team to show up almost every week to bitch about their wives, kids and jobs. Those teams are just barely good enough for most of those men to pay their dues every six months. 

I also believe all men in MDI want to be on a kick ass men’s team that has weekly meetings that they can’t wait to get to and don’t want to leave when they are over. Men want a team they are proud to bring other men to. Men want MDI to be a place it is easy to invite men to. Which one of these teams are you on? Is it the one you want to be on? If not, are you willing to change it? I am committed to making that a possibility for every man in MDI. If you want it, we will help you get it. You will have to do some work, but it will be worth it many times over. 

Take Care and Take Charge

 ~ Stan Snow, Incoming MDI President

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