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Selecting Leaders

Selecting leaders in Rotary is pivotal, as it's fundamentally about aligning with our core values of fellowship, integrity, and service. Whether it’s being selected as a club President, a District Governor or beyond, it's not about ambition; it's about identifying leaders who personify what Rotary stands for. Leaders in Rotary don't (and are not allowed to) campaign. Instead, they are selected based of their outstanding qualities of leadership.

When I attended my first Rotary Convention in Copenhagen in 2006, I was a delegate and entitled to vote. Two of the most significant actions were to de-certify both a District Governor and an upcoming Rotary International President due to campaigning. The case was presented by past Rotary International President Cliff Dochterman. He explained how in the first case, contrary to policies, the candidate had actively campaigned for District Governor by visiting numerous clubs to make his case.

The case of the upcoming Rotary International President was different as the person had not campaigned for the position. However, he had powerful friends who were lobbying and maneuvering behind the scenes to get him selected; perhaps with the best of intentions, but still outside the policies of how selections are made. Both of their selections were reversed.

Leadership in Rotary is a reflection of our key principles. We require leaders who actively champion service and integrity, who can bring people together and inspire meaningful action. It’s crucial that our leaders have a track record of living these values, beyond just holding a title or seeking personal achievement.

The ideal leader in Rotary is someone who prioritizes our mission of Service Above Self, not someone looking for recognition or to fill out their resumé. This distinction is key because leadership here is about enhancing our collective impact on societal issues, not personal accolades.

Our selection process is essential to maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of Rotary International since each leader affects our reputation. Leaders who truly embody Rotary's ethos ensures we continue to make a significant and positive impact.

In essence, the importance of who we choose is vital to preserving our mission and ensuring it remains impactful and relevant. It demonstrates our commitment to values-driven leadership, ensuring our leaders are genuinely dedicated and effective. This commitment helps keep Rotary a beacon of hope and service for generations to come.


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Apr 24
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Similar to this is the RI officials that are elected and push their personal agendas, rather than issues in the benefit of worldwide Rotary. Keep in mind that Rotary is, by differences in cultures, a tremendously diverse organization, joined in SERVICE.


Apr 24
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thanks, Ray.

This is a delicate issue given that there are no specific parameters to identify the difference between what is genuine and what is illegitimate, it is up to the body of people who decide on this, to apply the four-way test and all their experience to make the best decision, to choose the best Rotarian for the position; Poor leaders will generate equal ones, on the other hand, leaders with high standards make Rotary grow.

Greetings from Ensenada!


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