Sunday, February 10, 2013

Thomasville RLI Graduates

District Chair Bob Newton, District Governor Rick Snyder (at left), and Regional Coordinator Karen Shore and RLI Board Chair Abe Clymer (at right) congratulate 5 new RLI graduates from the Thomasville RLI!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Testimonial: RLI is for Closet Leaders!

First year Rotarian,
Barbara Parker  
I share with you a recent testimonial by Barbara Parker, a first-year Rotarian in the Blowing Rock, NC Rotary Club, District 7670, a long time Rotarian spouse of a Past Governor, and a participant at the Part I  Cary (Raleigh) NC RLI on January 19, 2013.  
My motivation to attend RLI was a little different from most of the participants. I am not preparing for a leadership position, nor do I have aspirations to be a club officer. My focus is on learning about Rotary and making sense of things I experienced during my year as a District Governor Spouse.
Rotarians are by nature deprecating people. They put their light under the bushel, and they do not see themselves as leaders. I believe every Rotarian is a leader, or he/she would not have been asked to join our great organization. Tell these individuals that the Rotary Leadership Institute will develop their leadership skills and they will reply, “I do not want to be a leader.” That was my reaction for a while. Thank goodness I did not end with that phrase.
RLI is so much more than leadership training. It is empowerment. I was shocked to realize that my opinion was listened to and then repeated in another segment later in the day. One of my big fears was that I would have to do something that made me look foolish. I was certainly prepared to say “NO”. That never happened. The sessions were thought provoking, non threatening, and invigorating.
We need to get that message out to Rotarians. If we can get them into a session just to learn about Rotary—in the club, the District, and the world—without the pressure of a leadership position, we may empower them to be the leaders they do not know they are.
I will continue to hold RLI moments in my club. Even if only one person signs up, RLI and Rotary are richer by one. Thank you for a truly wonderful experience this last weekend. I look forward to Session Two and plan to follow on with Session Three. Then I plan to wear my RLI Graduate status with pride.  Barbara