Each year JCI develops themes for their strategic plan. This international plan helps national organizations and local organizations align with the direction for JCI.  The basis for the Strategic plan is to emphasize Impact, Motivate, Invest, Connect and Collaborate initiatives.  Success isn’t always about numbers; it’s also about attitude, processes, learning and happiness.  Let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture.   Instead of focusing on our bank account balances and project profit and loss figures, let’s look at what we are doing to make our community better.  How many people are impacted by our projects and to what degree?  How do we know we are creating leaders?  What is our legacy?

It’s time to reflect on what it is that makes us Jaycees.  What is our product?  Historically we have considered the projects that we do to be our products.  And the byproducts of these projects are the leadership, networking and fellowship opportunities.  It’s time that we conceptually flip that notion.  Our product is the leaders that we build.  The byproducts of this are the projects that we implement.  The difference is subtle, but it establishes a clear and healthier hierarchy: That the people of the organization are more important than projects that it runs.  People may be drawn to our group for many reasons, but it is inevitably the relationships that they develop that keep them coming back.

It’s time that this group develops its own identity; an identity that comes from the shared values and interests of its current members, not its past members.  How do we do this?  Let’s build projects together, by learning about and with each other.  Let’s leverage our skills and interests.  We have the opportunity to create something special, something that is uniquely ours.  JCI isn’t about handing out business cards or thirty-second elevators speeches.  It’s about building life-long friendships and business relationships.  JCI is about making you feel absolutely comfortable way outside your comfort zone.  This can only be accomplished through trust, respect and, well, fun.

Think about: What would I make time for?  I believe this is the key to developing a sustainable future for our JCI St.Catharines and a culture of positivity.

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