Take off Your Bib and Put on Your Apron

A few weeks ago I received a message from a BNI director in the U.S. It read:

“Ivan, I am working on a chapter kickoff in South Dakota. I had a salesman named Bill sit through the whole meeting then not get up to leave when I ended it. He sat there gazing into space. Bill is a 30-year veteran in the sales business. I asked if I could help. He said ‘you know this whole networking thing will never work if I am here for myself. I need to take off my bib and put on my apron and learn to serve these people.’ Now that’s a Givers Gain® aha moment.”

There’s not much I can add to that sentiment. Truly effective networking is about taking off your bib and putting on your apron. It is about helping other people succeed. Through the activities that go along with that process, you build your business and also prosper.

Thanks gentlemen. This was a great metaphor.

4 thoughts on “Take off Your Bib and Put on Your Apron

  1. I just had a similar epiphany. As an BNI assistant director I was seeking specific guidance on a “grey area” in policy. I was told to have the group do what’s in the best interest of the chapter.
    As someone who recalls the collective idealism of the 60’s I realized BNI echoes many of the same ideas. We don’t join a chapter simply seeking what we can individually receive. By learning how to nurture each other first, we become a powerful group where everyone’s growth increases. The growth increases beyond the chapter as we seek to give referrals and do business even with members of other chapters as they, too, are part of the BNI family.

  2. As I am now preparing to become president of a chapter that is maturing…I am ever mindful of the need to help others succeed, and that happens when we serve their needs; initiating 1:2:1 meetings, working to give “qualified” referrals, and really developing the depth of our relationships. I am going to use the apron analogy at one of our meetings…thanks Ivan.

  3. Fantastic analogy with the bib and the apron.

    It’s interesting that an apron and a bib look a lot alike.

    You could wear an apron and get the same protection as a bib. The real difference between a bib and an apron is the intent of the person wearing it. People who wear aprons are serving. People who are wearing bibs are receiving.

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