Rotary's administrative districts and member clubs often have difficulty getting people to serve as leaders. One reason why is happening right now! Many existing leaders, sounding like inmate's approaching the end of their prison sentence, say "Only four-and-a-half more months!" What non-verbal perception does this simple phrase deliver?
Personally, I welcomed the opportunity to serve as club president and District 6960 as Assistant Governor and Governor (2003-04). These were wonderful opportunities to experience the joy of building friendships and developing spheres of influence while honing leadership and communication skills that were put to good use in my professional engineering practice. (This is merely practicing the first Object of Rotary.) Through these friendships, and using Rotary International attributes, we were able to establish the continuing district-wide Dictionary Project; the now multi-state and international Rotary Leadership Institute Sunshine Division; and an International water project where all District 6960 clubs participated in establishing fifty-four water systems in
Long-time Rotarians are keenly aware that, in the last twenty years, Rotary International and its member clubs have placed heavy emphasis, even priority, on its attributes and the noun 'service'. The overlooked fundamental was that the quality and quantity of the 'service' produced depends on the quality and quantity of acquaintances developed. I am now in the eighth decade of life, but if given the opportunity to develop new acquaintances as an opportunity for service, I would.
Rotary leaders, what perceptions are your verbal and non-verbal actions projecting: that your position is a desirable experience to be valued, or a sentence to be served?