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Friday, June 26, 2015

Rotary Leaders Must Manage Perceptions Because Perception Attracts; Performance Retains. Part II

      Perception is communicated to the brain through imagery input from all senses.  In leading people, particularly other leaders, the power of example is critical.  Take, for instance, Rotary's Code of Policy that encourages Districts to have 75 clubs and 2,700 Rotarians.  If Rotary pays little attention to why these goals are not being met; is not inquiring how it could assist districts - its own administrative creations - in reaching these goals, what perception regarding the importance of reaching these membership goals are its district leaders receiving?  The basic leadership fundamental lies in that followers will do what leaders check, not necessarily what leaders expect.
     Is Rotary's Secretariat transmitting the perception that membership is important by maintaining and making easily understandable and important membership data readily available; communicating and supporting worldwide membership efforts with accurate, current, meaningful, and helpful information?  Is Rotary's printed and social media communicating the perception that delivering value and creating Rotarians is Rotary's primary purpose
     Are Senior Rotary leaders, senior staff, directors, governors, and presidents (leaders who are leading leaders) being educated on the importance of managing perceptions?  For example, are International Conventions, Zone Institutes; Governors-elect and President-elect Training Seminars; International, Coordinator and District Assemblies transmitting the perception that membership is Rotary's top "internal" priority?  Are they delivering quality education on defining and delivering Rotary's differentiating value? Is prime time, display position, and recognition being given to and showered upon districts and clubs with high retention, attraction, and growth rates?  
     Rotary's Directors and Coordinators actually have been paying more attention to membership.  According to General Secretary Hewko, worldwide membership has increased by over 20,000, and contributions to The Rotary Foundation (TRF) are up.  Are these increases primarily the result of higher retention rates and retained Rotarians increasing their contributions, or to new members?  What could have happened to retention, attraction, and growth rates, and TRF contributions, if district and club leaders had perceived that Rotary's priority was to create Rotarians and performed accordingly?
     If the perception is that membership is not important, then directors, coordinators, and governors should not expect anyone to perform as if membership is important.  So I ask:  Is the perception that Rotary's top 'internal' priority of retaining and attracting members being transmitted through its zones to its districts and getting to those who fund Rotary International's activities and operations?

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