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PDG Stephen Lamont —

Imagine the possibilities if we never stop learning and improve education in every aspect of Rotary.

Article by PDG Stephen Lamont, Rotary Coordinator Elect Zone 8 2022-25

Over the last couple of months Incoming leaders from Districts and Zones have been participating in various forms of training or learning in preparation for the new Rotary year. I would like to share some reflections from being involved in the recent Regional Leaders Global Institute.

  • Whether you call it Training or Learning ( and there is always debate on what it should be called ) Education is paramount at all levels of Rotary and in whatever role you undertake.
  • Group discussion and the sharing of experiences and stories leads to greater engagement and is a positive method to achieving any learning objective.
  • Communication is an absolute key in anything we do in Rotary – or more importantly, effective communication. Once we have established value propositions then we are able to strengthen our message and our learnings. In any collaboration as a team, there must be a focus on communication.
  • If we are to better engage our members – sometimes it simply comes down to asking them to clarify their needs and their interests. Rather than asking them to fit in with an existing model, ask them what their expectations of Rotary are and how can we meet those expectations. Often members are unaware of projects or ways they can become involved in Rotary, outside of their own clubs. Districts committees are often crying out for people to become involved – yet seldom are people taught and educated about the wider picture of Rotary and the possibilities that exist.
  • Most learning occurs at club level, and we need to take that concept and responsibility seriously. Our orientation of new and existing members should include inviting them to know about roles and projects at all levels of Rotary and match their interests and passions.
  • All Rotary and Rotaract clubs share similar values and a desire for service – but each offers a unique experience. Cause and Interest based clubs are increasing in appeal because they allow people to enjoy Rotary in a specific way and or focus.

The Regional Leaders Institute provided education on the commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and that shall be a major focus in 2022-23. It also provided learnings over three key areas – Membership, The Rotary Foundation and Public Image. Often, we perceive these to be a separate focus – but they are very much linked. Collaboration, incorporating all three aspects is a much better approach. When discussing the possibility of starting a new club, we also need to understand and learn about The Rotary Foundation and highlight Rotary’s global profile and image as people of purpose and action.

Imagine the possibilities if we never stop learning and improve education in every aspect of Rotary.