The Power of EO and Stories

At the end of last week I had the opportunity to attend the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Global Leadership Conference (GLC) for the second consecutive year. The two day event brings 400 EO chapter leaders from around the world together to share best practices, learn from expert speakers, and have a good time.

As the upcoming membership chair on the EO Atlanta 2010 – 2011 board, I spent most of my time with other membership chairs in sessions facilitated by Branden Ames, CEO of Able Technologies. The most powerful takeaways from the sessions were that EO is really to facilitate the entrepreneurial lifestyle, not just building the better entrepreneur, and that telling personal stories are the most effective recruiting methods.

During the membership track and the keynote remarks there were numerous personal stories shared. Here are a few told first hand by members (not secondary sources):

  • A member in EO Arizona crashed and died in his plane killing his business partner and COO as well. The EO Arizona chapter president jumped in and had his company, on his own dime, coordinate the funeral, brought in his forum members, and interfaced with the deceased member’s father to help with the business.
  • A member in EO South Florida died in a plane crash killing his wife and son, but leaving a daughter behind. The members of his forum reached out to the daughter to be there personally for her and help work through the devastation.
  • A Muslim EO member from Orange County met a Catholic EO member from Mexico City at an event in Mexico, only to learn that the Mexico City member’s son had late stage cancer and had run out of medical options in Mexico. The Orange County member immediately opened up his house in the U.S. and coordinated help with the best doctors in California. In the end, the son didn’t make it but the two EO members forged a deep relationship for life.

While these are dramatic personal stories, they were told by a member involved firsthand, making them even more emotional. EO truly is for the entrepreneurial lifestyle and the relationships created are priceless. Stories make the power of EO even more compelling.

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