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RLI International Newsletter

December 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.

Holiday Greetings

December is a month of many religious and cultural holy days and holidays. We wish all our members and all Rotarians a very enjoyable and satisfying holiday season. Let us all pray for peace and brotherhood, badly needed in today’s world.

Odds and Ends about "Leadership"

Sometimes events around the world prove to be "lessons" in leadership. Earlier this year in New England, USA, a very successful food market chain was the scene of great conflict among the families who owned the company. The company’s board of directors was split into two warring parties. A director changed allegiance and enough votes were obtained to fire the company’s president and take control from the other part of the family. A new president was then elected by the Board.

Surprisingly, the company’s very large group of employees in many parts of New England, refused to stay with the company’s new president and walked off their jobs, setting up picket lines. Their efforts were not to gain increases in salaries, etc., but to call for the discharged president to be reinstated. Usually employees would stay on the job in these circumstances and perhaps demand salary increases, benefits, etc., but the employees of this company were willing to be without their salaries, etc. in order to get their former president back.

What qualities did the former president possess to achieve such loyalty from the employees who walked off their jobs? It turned out that it wasn’t just good salaries and benefits for that industry, but the character of the president that created such loyalty. Unlike many CEO’s in large businesses, the former president knew most employees by name, visited each store frequently, talked to employees individually, thanking them for their service to the company and, in general, creatinga warm and friendly atmosphere in the company. He showed he really cared about each employee and their families. He was known to even hug some employees.

Of course, a successful company needs more leadership than mere friendliness, but many executives forget that they are dealing with "people and their families" and their warm treatment of employees is so important. The employees who walked off the job and joined a picket line ultimately won the "war" and the former president was reinstated and the company is prospering again, perhaps more so. It is natural for people to follow leaders they like and feel that the leader likes them.

Curriculum Committee Registrations Are Coming in Fast

PDG Randy Rawiszer, Organizing Chair of the 2015 RLI Intl. Curriculum Committee Meeting in Orlando reports that registrations are being received continually and that we may obtain record attendance. The event will be held on January 30-February 1, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn Airport in Orlando, Florida, USA. A Registration Flyer may be found on the home page of www.rotaryleadershipinstitute.org.

Welcome New Member District

RLI welcomes District 5110 as a member of the Pacific Northwest Division. That district covers parts of California and Oregon, USA. The Agreement of Membership was signed by District Governor Timothy K. Mobley of Trail, Oregon and the Division Chair is PDG Allan W. Davis.


Welcome New Members of RLI Senior Leaders Advisory Board

RLI is pleased to welcome three new members of the Intl. RLI Senior Leaders Advisory Board:

• R.I. Director Nominee Corneliu Dinca will represent Zone 19. He is from District 2241 and lives in Craiova, Romania. He is the Rotary Coordinator for part of Zone 19. He has served Rotary in many important positions.

• R.I. Director Nominee Noel Trevaskis will represent Zone 8. He is from Tura Beach, New South Wales, Australia, District 9710. He currently serves as a member of the R.I. Membership Development and Retention Committee.

• R.I Director Nominee Dean Rohrs will represent Zone 24. She is from Surrey, British Colombia, Canada, District 5040. She currently serves as the Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator for Zone 24 West. She introduced RLI to western Canada and has been a facilitator and trainer of discussion leaders for many years.


We previously reported on several RLI events at Rotary Institutes this fall (spring in the Southern Hemisphere). Here are 3 more and another event:

HONG KONG. Although not at a Rotary Institute, RLI International Chair, PRID David Linett, visited Hong Kong Senior RLI and Rotary Officers for three days. The District leaders held a dinner for Linett and his wife, Penny, at the Regal Hotel in Causeway Bay. Host for the dinner was District 3450 Governor Belinda Bik Yiu Yeung. Also present was PDG Peter Wan, Chair of the South China/Indonesia Division of RLIand a former member of the R.I. Audit Committee, DGE Peter Pang, DGN Eric Chin, PDG Anthony Hung, PDG Alexander Mak, PDG Jason Chan and spouses. The group discussed their plans for continued RLI courses and other RLI activities in Hong Kong, Macau and Mongolia.

KOTA KINABALU. Linett also visited the Rotary Institute in Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah State, Malaysia on the island of Borneo, convened by R.I. Director Guiller Tumangan of the Philippines. 1100 Rotarians and guests held a week-long celebration of Rotary in Zones 6B, 7A and 10B that covers the RLI countries of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Hong Kong, SAR. RLI Divisions present were Bangladesh Division, Pakistan Division, Taiwan Division, Philippines Division, Malaysia/Singapore Division and South China/Indonesia Division.

The RLI Breakfast attended by 130 Rotarians and guests featured talks by R.I. President Gary C.K. Huang, Director Guiller Tumangan and RLI Intl. Chair David Linett.Also present at the Breakfast were R.I. Treasurer Holger Knaack of Germany, Director Sangkoo Yun of Korea, Trustee Ian Riseley of Australia and Trustee Jackson Hsieh of Taiwan, RLI Regional Vice-Chair for East Asia.

Linett also held separate meetings with most of the Division Chairs present.


Here is a beautifully written report by PDG Beryl Robinson on the Wellington, New Zealand RLI Breakfast at the Zones 7B and 8 Institute:

RLI Down Under

The inspirational Rotary Leadership Institute breakfast in Wellington, New Zealand on Saturday 6 December during Rotary Zones 7B and 8 Institute and the combined District 9940 Conference was a sell out for 140 delegates from the 27 NZ and Australian-based districts.

PRIP Bill Boyd’s thought-provoking presentation was from the perspective of a new Rotarian who had been sent along to RLI by his President without knowing much about it, wondering if the RLI trainers would be like Boxer dogs whose expressions don’t change much, yapping Terriers, or preferred one year-old house trained Labradors!

Bill then joined the International RLI panel that also included The Rotary Foundation Trustee PRIT Ian Riseley from Australia, TRF Trustee Jackson Hsieh from Taiwan, RI Director Guiller Tumangan from the Philippines, RLI Faculty Trainer Past Rotary Coordinator Rob Crabtree from NZ, and International RLI Vice-Chair Australia, NZ and Oceania PDG Cathy Roth from Australia who answered questions about RLI in their parts of the Rotary world.

RLI NZ and Pacific Islands Division Chair PDG Beryl Robinson gave an update about the state of RLI in that region where all six NZ-based districts frequently run RLI Parts I, II and III courses. District 9920 has also successfully held three popular RLI Graduate programs to date. NZ-based Districts 9910 and 9920 are now rolling out RLI into their Pacific Islands, including Norfolk Island, Fiji and French Polynesia.

19 of the 21 districts in Australia hold RLI courses, and Cathy is hopeful that the remaining two districts will join RLI by the end of this Rotary year.

Following on from Beryl’s involvement on the International RLI Online Courses Committee, it is planned to trial distance learning in conjunction with Cathy and an Australian e-club in 2015, which will also open up opportunities to get RLI into remote areas and the South West Pacific where it is difficult to get to RLI courses in a main centre.

RLI breakfasts are highlights of Rotary Institutes down under, so they will be continued at next November’s Rotary Zone 7B Institute in Nelson, NZ, and an RLI lunch will be held before Rotary Zone 8 Institute in Melbourne, Australia.


The first RLI Breakfast meeting for Zone 21A was held at their Rotary Institute in La Antigua, Guatemala for 67 Rotarians from 14 districts. The Convener of that Institute was R.I. Vice-President, Celia Cruz de Giay, formerlythe Founding Chair of the RLI Buenos Aires Division. RIVP Celia was also the Keynote Speaker at the Breakfast. She noted that "RLI is the best tool to shape future leaders of Rotary Clubs."

Also speaking was PDG Salvador Rizzo Tavares, RLI Intl. Regional Vice-Chair for Northern Latin America. Salvador described RLI and recapped the RLI events of the past three years. Almost 1200 Rotarians have taken RLI courses in the region and 245 attended seminars to be trained as discussion leaders. The Assistant Regional Vice-Chair for Training is PDG Adriana de la Fuentes.

RLI Divisions in Zone 21A include the Mexico Division, Central America Division and the Colombia Division. Prospective members are from Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Honored guests were Past R.I. President Luis Vicente Giay, Past R.I. President Frank Devlyn, Past R.I. Director Jose Antonio Salazar, Past R.I Director Jose Alfredo Sepulveda, R.I. Director Nominee Jorge Aufranc, Chair of the Central America Division, PDG Santiago Ancona, Chair of the Mexico Division.

The first Zone Leadership Award was given to Abbas Rahimzadeh of District 4130 for advancing RLI’s goals.



“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.”