Legatus’ membership criteria
Legatus founder TOM MONAGHAN writes about the importance of membership criteria . . .
Why is it important for Legatus to have and maintain specific membership criteria? This topic has come up regularly at Board of Governors meetings, and it’s something I thought long and hard about when founding Legatus in 1987.
Our membership criteria were inspired by YPO (Young Presidents Organization). Our criteria are based on the number of employees, annual revenues, assets under management and business net worth. By setting specific and measurable criteria and adhering to them, we as an organization assist in assuring the fulfillment of our mission.
Over the years, Legatus has been recognized by many Catholic leaders as one of the most effective lay organizations in the U.S. I believe one reason for this is because we have adhered to our membership criteria. No one organization can be all things to all people. So where do you draw the line? Who are you going to admit as a member? That’s why we need specific criteria. It has worked for YPO for 64 years; they have 13,000 members today with minimum annual sales of $12 million. It has worked for them, and I think it’s working for us.
The very nature of our mission is to assist each other as we “study, live and spread the Catholic faith.” The reason this works in our chapter meetings and other gatherings is because we have stayed focused, and as a result have met the specific needs of our members.
There are numerous personal characteristics that most of us share, as well as a whole set of challenges or struggles that we all face on an ongoing basis. The fact that we have so much in common is one of the things that helps to make Legatus effective. Members can share with each other in a unique way and be understood, topics can be discussed that we are all facing (or likely will face), spouses can relate with each other, the list goes on. Why is all of this possible? Largely because of our membership criteria.
This is not to say that people who are not members of Legatus are not great Catholics doing wonderful things. Of course not! But it’s because Legates have so much in common that we’re able to support each other and design programs and experiences that meet our unique needs. The very fact that we are not trying to be all things to all people is what helps us to be just what lay Catholic business leaders need in a peer organization.
TOM MONAGHAN is Legatus’ founder and chairman. He is a member of Legatus’ Naples Chapter.
NOTE: Qualifications for Legatus membership can be found by clicking here.