We are constantly exhorted to change or be changed. The Million Dollar Round Table’s annual meeting in June inspired around 7,000 delegates from over 70 countries to Be the Change in our business life, our personal life and in our communities.Many people I meet in this profession are still not aware of the MDRT or, more worryingly, carry a negative view of it. Indeed, at a recent Personal Finance Society meeting, I was attacked for stating that attendance at an MDRT meeting is a pre-requisite for long-term success in this business. Yet I demonstrated that there are techniques and ideas that I use in my business on a daily basis that are derived from the MDRT. I made it very clear that I owe my success to the MDRT. When I questioned those who held a negative view about the MDRT, there was no substance to their argument. Maybe they had not qualified to attend a meeting. My response to such critics is simple. How can they pass judgement if they have not attended an MDRT meeting? Do they really believe that some of the UK’s most accomplished advisers have nothing better to do than spend a week away from the office, with the expense that goes with it? Do they really feel that spending a week with 7,000 of the world’s finest advisers, all willing to share ideas, is a waste of time? Membership of the MDRT is based on business production along with a commitment to the highest of ethics. Basic membership entails commission and/or fee production of 53,000 in 2006. Three times higher production entitles members to the designation Court of the Table and, six times, Top of the Table. Membership includes subscription to the magazine Round the Table, which includes adviser profiles, practice management techniques and, dare I say it in this politically correct 21st Century, sales ideas. The annual meeting includes focus meetings targeted at different aspects of the Whole Person concept, from sales ideas to practice management, marketing, media and mentoring, health and fitness, successful parenting, technical knowledge and prospecting techniques. There is always something for everyone. At this year’s annual meeting in San Diego, an incredible opening session included blind British adventurer Miles Hilton Barber, who shared inspirational stories of his escapades, and Aussie Alan Pease, who explained that men and women are fundamentally different in how they function mentally. The next three days were filled with tales of motivation and endeavour, allied to cutting-edge sales ideas and techniques, creative ways to market ourselves, methods to improve business efficiency and spend more time with our families. Past president Tony Gordon informed attendees what to expect from the MDRT, opening their eyes to the opportunities and friendships they will develop. Indeed, Brad Elman of San Jose spoke about his experiences when he was a first-timer many years back. He explained that he had been inspired by the legends of the time and informed current first-timers to look out for the legends of the future, reeling off a few names including two Brits – Sandro Forte and yours truly. I never thought I would be considered a legend but I was honoured. Court of the Table and Top of the Table members enjoyed the privilege of hearing Captain James Lovell of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission share his message of never giving up. Week in, week out we are subjected to doom and gloom stories of what is happening to our industry. We all need a boost and my uplift over the last decade has been attending the MDRT annual meeting. I return with revived energy and new ideas that I can implement immediately. What recharges your batteries? If you are looking for the answer, do not miss next year’s annual meeting in Denver. For those who have qualified, the separate Top of the Table meeting is in Palm Springs in October. I am proud to be speaking at this event for the second time. For more info, visit www.mdrt.org. I hope to see you at a future meeting.
Bhupinder Anand is managing director at Anand Associates