Banerjee shares advice for building stronger clubs
RI President Kalyan Banerjee shares advice with incoming district leaders about building strong clubs during the second plenary session of the International Assembly. Rotary Images/Monika Lozinska
The best way for incoming district governors to build stronger clubs is to serve as role models and lead as equals, said RI President Kalyan Banerjee at the International Assembly.
Banerjee shared this and other advice during the second plenary session 16 January to help incoming district governors provide better support to Rotarians at the club level.
“We’re here because we love Rotary,” he said. “We’re here because we love what we can do through Rotary, and we want to do more of it.”
Banerjee explained that leadership in Rotary means giving support -- not giving orders.
The “gold standard of great leadership,” he said, is “being the kind of leader about whom every Rotarian in your district says, ‘You know, if I am ever a district governor, I’d want to be a district governor just like him (or her).”
Trustworthiness is also an important quality, Banerjee said.
“A great leader is someone you can trust, not necessarily to have all the answers but to be able to find them,” he explained. “And it’s someone who will listen, who will not dismiss your concerns, who will take the time to take you seriously.”
Maintaining the right balance between work and fun is also vital to encouraging strong clubs, he said.
“You do need the fun, of course -- that’s part of what makes Rotary what it is -- but fun is secondary and work is first,” Banerjee noted. “We all enjoy Rotary, but the primary thing, the point of why we’re here, it has to be the work, it has to be the service, it has to be the difference we are making.”
Banerjee concluded that district governors must look beyond their year in office. He emphasized that serving the district isn’t about attaching their names to major accomplishments, but making changes in a short time that will make their district stronger.
“To really succeed, you have to look past yourself, past your year, and into the long term, at the health of your community and our organization,” Banerjee said.
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