A Meditation on RIPE Rassin’s Vision Statement

With all respect for Mr. Hewko, his leadership experience may not be what we need now from the Secretariat. I would look to someone from the business world of international franchises, with experience in franchisee support. The talents we need to revitalize the dynamic between RI and Clubs have less to do with delivering foreign assistance, more with managing and supporting a herd of cats

“I believe now is the time to understand who and what we are and where we should be going. Rotary International is a formidable and complex organization that is at a crossroads and needs to broadly consult the Rotary world for guidance and rebuild relationships with the clubs.

The current three Presidents will positively adjust our culture and I would like to continue that process. I feel strongly that we must focus on strengthening clubs, including with efficient digital tools, as there is a disconnect between Rotary International and Rotary Clubs.” — Vision Statement, Barry Rassin, RI President-Elect 2018-2019, 1 Sept 2017 Continue reading “A Meditation on RIPE Rassin’s Vision Statement”

Make Rotarians the Prime Focus of Our Service Projects

It is service work such as this that can inspire the hearts of our existing Members, and the new recruit as well. If we are seen by our communities as a team of professionals taking on the hard stuff, we begin to have a story that not only deserves to be told, but will rally others to join. We need to challenge our Members to fully engage their minds and hearts, and not just rack up volunteer hours in warm body projects.

I don’t know how many Rotarians make New Year resolutions on July First to make Rotary better in some fashion. But as we start a new calendar year, I’d like to suggest a resolution for now. Although all Rotarians should make it, I ask leaders in Clubs and beyond to particularly take this to heart:

I resolve to work to make Rotarians the focus of our service projects. Continue reading “Make Rotarians the Prime Focus of Our Service Projects”

Attendance Thoughts

My Club’s Board is reviewing our attendance rules to make sure they represent what our Club’s expectation is from a Member. There is a diversity of opinion on how many meetings must be attended and how many service hours must be performed. Engagement is the buzzword that covers both.

When first approached to join my Club, like many, my main hesitation was the attendance requirements. As an owner of a small retail business where I had to be present, it seemed impossible to make a commitment to weekly meetings. My Sponsor was persistent, so I told him I’d give it a try. Pretty soon, it became a highlight of my week and not going was much harder than missing. I didn’t really understand much about Rotary, but I liked the meetings and the people attending them. Luckily, the day I was inducted, I was assigned to the newsletter committee (which thus grew to 2). And it was that role that got me started on understanding what Rotary is. Continue reading “Attendance Thoughts”

The 4-Way Test in the Weapons Debate

And because TRUTH is on their side, all the rest of the 4-Way falls neatly into place for them, again without much thought. The underlying dynamic is “I’m right, you’re wrong, and the rest really doesn’t matter because I’m right.”

In the debate currently taking place on the imposition of the B-16 Code Amendments to Rotary’s Policies on Club events that include weapons, many supporters of the RI Board have cited the 4-Way Test as validation for their position. I find this assumption to be simplistic at best, arrogant at worst. It is clear to me that many such people have not really thought through the 4-Way, and really understand that it is a process used to attempt to find reconciliation in a dispute. Each step requires differing opinions to be expressed, evaluated, and weighed. There is no guarantee that the process will result in accord. Continue reading “The 4-Way Test in the Weapons Debate”

Managing Our Club’s Growth

The profit our Club generates is twofold: the external lives we touch; and the satisfaction that creates in our Members. The point is that overseeing “profit-sharing” in our Club is a challenge that must be actively managed, particularly in regard to our new Members.

My Club has been blessed with an incredible growth spurt this year. From 55 Members on July 1, 2016, we are today at 69, with potentially 5 more new Members before June. And we hope to have a 100% retention rate this year. The reason for this progress is simple: leadership paid attention to the numbers and actively encouraged Membership to ask. One result has been a palpable increase in energy at our meetings. While we believe that the mix of friendly and fun fellowship we have prided ourselves on is an attractive invitation, it is our mix of projects and activities that seals the deal. Even the business portion of our meetings is inspiring both new and long-term Members. But, with this growth comes new challenges that must also be actively managed by leadership. Continue reading “Managing Our Club’s Growth”

Rotary and Weapons

Why do you distance your brand from certain industries or merchandise? Obviously, because you feel that a connection could potentially hurt it. In this singling out of “weapons” it is clear that the Board thinks that Rotary is universally negatively impacted by a Club’s use of the Rotary logo in an advertisement for a Club fundraiser in which a rifle and archery bow are displayed, alongside a sponsor’s logo for a local gun and archery shop. To those of us who think differently, the opposite is true.

This is a revised version of the post I made on Monday, Feb. 27. Since my initial post, which was based on a Feb. 23 article “Rotary International Tells Clubs to Drop their Guns” by Larry Keane on the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s website, official Rotary documents have become known which support Mr. Keane’s article. http://www.nssfblog.com/rotary-international-tells-clubs-to-drop-their-guns/  Also, the rapid spread of the details of the Board decision has created much concern and anger among many US Rotarians, to the point that it is rumored that the Board will be holding an emergency meeting to discuss the situation as it stands now. Continue reading “Rotary and Weapons”