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RLI International Newsletter

October 2014
The Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) is a multi-district, grassroots leadership development program of member districts organized into regional divisions throughout the world. It is not an official program of Rotary International and is not under its control. The RLI seeks to have Rotary Clubs in member districts identify those Rotarians who seem to have the POTENTIAL for future club leadership (not necessarily as club presidents) and provide those so identified with a quality education in Rotary knowledge and leadership skills for voluntary organizations.

Quote of the Month

In the last issue of this eBulletin we wrote about the death of Dr. Warren Bennis, called by some as the "father of leadership". An article about his career noted the following (although it relates to business leadership, there is something to think about for all of us):

"He worried about what he called a 'leadership vacuum'....A dearth of visionary business leaders, he said, meant companies were being led more by managers of the bottom line than by passionate, independent thinkers who can steer an organization effectively.

"When the very model of a modern manager becomes CEO (Chief Executive Officer), he does not become a leader, he becomes a boss, and it is the bosses who have gotten America into its current fix."

Something to think about - how many club presidents bring something new to the position rather than just doing what previous club leaders have done??? How many seek input from the rank and file club members before "announcing" a project/program?

Odds and Ends about RLI

Despite some confusion about this issue, RLI is not a membership development program. It is a leadership development program.

However, RLI does have a potentiallypositive effect on membership and especially membership retention by its courses that help to "open up the world of Rotary outside of Rotarians'own clubs". Our long experience has shown that those attending RLI courses become enthusiastic about Rotary and enthusiastic Rotarians are not the ones who voluntarily leave their clubs. The courses also strengthen the leadership skills of those attending and thereby helpsthem to strengthen their clubs. It has been recognized by some R.I. Presidents and others that weak clubs have been a cause of membership losses. Strong clubs obviously do a much better job of attracting and retaining new members.


Welcome New Divisions/Districts

RLI welcomes District 5390 as a member of the Rocky Mountain Division. The district covers the U.S. State of Montana. The Agreement was signed by District Governor Roy Beekman and by PDG T. Michael Forney, Chair of the Rocky Mountain Division.

Because of realignment by the R.I. Board, the three districts in Colombia have been merged into two new districts, 4271 and 4281. Both districts have signed new Agreements of Membership- Governor Ligia Maria Palacio Pasada for District 4271 and Governor Eduardo Jose Ayalde for District 4281. The Chair of the Colombian Division is PDG Rafael E. Acosta-Paez. RLI welcomes both of these new districts.

Personnel Update

International RLI Vice-Chair Knut Johnsen will also assume the position of International RLI Secretary.


The International Curriculum Meeting will be held on January 30 - February 1, 2015 (most arrivals on January 29). Once again it will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Airport, Orlando, Florida USA. Organizing Chair is PDG Randy Rawiszer, Chair of the RLI Sunshine Division (Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico and Caribbean). The registration flyer will be posted on the RLI Intl. Web site during October.

The meeting will consider recommendations for changes in the curriculum outlines/materials for Parts I, II and III for 2015-18.

Zones 15-16 Institute Hosts First RLI Event this Season

The first RLI event at a Rotary Institute this year was held at Legoland, Denmark in late August and included a RLI Early Bird Meeting. The topic of the meeting was "How can the RLI-programme create NEW ROADS FOR ROTARY In Our Region (Zones 15-16)." 40 Rotarians from Scandinavia and other countries in the Zone discussed that and other topics. Rotary Intl. Regional Vice-Chair Nils Ove Jensen of Denmark led the event and the Institute Convener was R.I. Director PerHoyen.

The First Faculty Orientation for Czech and Slovak Division

By the time you read this eBulletin, the first new faculty orientation session will likely be completed. During the first weekend of October Rotarians from District 2240 will gather in Prague, Czech Republic to discuss methods of leading discussion sessions, etc. Conducting the orientation will be PDG Frank Wargo, Intl. Vice-Chair for Training and PDG Knut Johnsen, Intl. Vice-Chair and Secretary. Chair of the Division is PDG Petr Pajas.

NEA Division Holds Unique Annual Meeting

Instead of ONLY meetings, the Northeast America Division of RLI (our original division) held a festive banquet with fabulous entertainment by a youth dancing group from Camden, New Jersey called "the Camden Sophisticated Sisters." The audience was so enthralled by the group that many, many contributions were made to help support the very talented youth dancers.

The two day Annual Meeting of the Division with 92 persons participating, also conducted a Breakfast, business meeting, workshops, presented awards and discussed changes in R.I and the Foundation. Speakers were Rotary International Director Julia Phelps, The Rotary Foundation Vice-Chair, Michael McGovern, PRIVP and Past Director David Linett, International Chair of RLI. Vice-Chair McGovern discussed the new grants model of the Foundation and recent changes in the Foundation's programs. Linett informed the group of recent developments in RLI around the world and some of the philosophy of RLI. Also present was PRIVP Frank Collins, many governors, division officers, district chairs and site chairs, etc. Chair of the Division is PDG Toni McAndrew who is in the last year of her term and has done a wonderful job for our largest division. The Chair-Elect is PDG Ann Keim.

Many RLI Divisions conduct Annual Meetings and the RLI Leadership recommends that for ALL RLI Divisions.

Join the Sunshine Division Cruise with RLI Courses

Here's what PDG Randy Rawiszer, Sunshine Division Chair, announced:

"We (RLI Sunshine Division) will have an RLI Cruise on December 10-14, 2015 on Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida (USA). This is a very large ship with incredible amenities, including a state of the art Conference Center with perfect breakout rooms for our RLI sessions. This will be a four-night cruise and will be open to all within the 14 member districts of the Sunshine Division as well as anyone from other divisions."

Since the cruise is more than a year away, all RLI activists have plenty of time to get ready for a great experience.

Around the RLI World

We recommend a look at the Sunshine Division web site at www.rlitraining.org. It is very well done.

September 27 was the date of a faculty orientation program in Akron, Ohio, USA for the RLI North Coast Division. 26 discussion leaders were certified and some recertified by Trainers PDG Renee Merchant (Regional Vice-Chair for North Central USA) and PDG Gail Scott of Michigan. The next course has already been scheduled.

The Annual Meeting of the India RLI Divisions has been scheduled for Saturday, December 14 in Chennai. During the next two days, some of the discussion leaders at that meeting will conduct RLI courses for Rotarians in District 3230. The activities are part of the Zones 4, 5 and 6A Institute convened by R.I. Director P.T. Prabhakar.

The RLI Discussion Group on Rotary.org/MyRotary continues to grow. The latest count as of the writing of this eBulletin was 260. We suggest that Rotarians join the discussions and express their opinions on various subjects, including the curriculum review for 2015-18. The name of the group is ROTARYLEADERSHIPINSTITUTE/RLI.


“Having leadership skills does not alone assure good Rotary leadership. An effective Rotary leader must ALSO have Rotary knowledge, perspective about where Rotary has been, where it is now and a vision of what Rotary can be.”