I admit it, when Saturday morning promised to be a beautiful sunny day in the mid-60’s, and knowing Sunday was supposed to be more crap weather, I wasn’t in the best mood to drive to Fairfax, Va. for another RLI (Rotary Leadership Institute) class. But I had signed up for the class last year as part of the 7620 Leadership team’s pledge to IPDG Bob Parkinson, our District RLI guru, to become an RLI graduate. So I found myself stuck in class with eighteen other Part 3 soon to be graduates wishing I was somewhere else. Knowing that our District Governor, Peter Kyle, who has forgotten more about Rotary than I will probably ever know, was in the same class, kind of made me feel better. I mean…if the boss could do it then so could I.
But guess what happened? As usual, when surrounded by motivated Rotarians who are sharing best practices from multiple Rotary Districts, I found myself becoming engaged with the conversation. And sure enough, I came away from class on Saturday with much more than my graduating pin. (As a Rotary District Leader I know I need lots more pins to impress everyone and to set off alarms when I go through airport security.) It turns out that I scribbled down several excellent ideas worthy of further thought. I thought I would share my top three ideas with you, although everyone in the class shared their number one idea and most were better than mine. Unfortunately for you dearest reader, I’m writing today’s post.
Idea One: In our early class about International Service with facilitator, Horace McCormack, he shared with us that international service doesn’t have to be about money. It can be about relationships. Why not meet and get to know Rotarians from other parts of the world? With modern technology you could schedule Skype calls, text, email, and otherwise develop a relationship with interesting people from interesting places. How neat would that be? As yes, they could turn out to be a partner in a service project, but what if they don’t? Why miss an opportunity to learn about other countries from the Rotarians who live there?
Idea Two: I often hear from clubs with lots of older members that they don’t have a selling proposition to recruit younger members. They can’t figure out why younger people might want to join their club. How about this? Young professionals would be very interested in meeting older Rotarians who could provide possible opportunities for business networking. At a minimum, they could be great mentors who could help them with their professional development. This thought came from a class on Rotary vocational service. Great stuff!
Idea Three: Incoming RI President Gary Huang wants us to “Light Up Rotary” and has asked us to do a “Rotary Day” event. In our class on PR and Marketing it occurred to me that we should be seriously considering the idea. After all, while most clubs do service projects, how many put the Rotary brand right up front? I guess I will leave it to your imagination, but it isn’t too hard to put together the idea of “Light Up Rotary” with a “Rotary Day” event. Is anyone else thinking fireworks? How about a search light lighting up a building with a Rotary symbol? Hmmm.
If you are a new Rotary member you need to find out about RLI. And if you are an older Rotary member you need to find out about RLI. Turns out that its a pretty good way to spend a Saturday.
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