I am the vice-president of my BNI group right now. We have 35 members and average at least 5 guests each week (Friday morning's at Hawthorne's Restaurant--Rochester, NY--7am).
As VP - I am essentially in charge of the group. For whatever reason, they chose to make the presidents of BNI groups the "meeting leader" - but give them only that main responsibility, and making the VP the heavy... perhaps this is true of the country's Pres and VP...(That may be a discussion for another day).
So as such, the BNI Leadership for our area has rolled out a bunch of new "policies" - and renewed a lot things that should have been done all along...this makes me the bad guy a lot of the time.
I bring this up because it is just a business networking group...but BNI is run like a business. It is a business. And while some of the rules about attendance and participation may seem oppressive--but it is what keeps the group going, functionable, and profitable for the member.
--more on this later, but I did want to remind everyone that business networking is...work. And our group is one of the best in the country because we take our work seriously. If you are offended by rules about showing up on time, and professional behavior, then maybe a group like Brighton's Best, is not for you.