7 Habits & Memo from R. I. President Stenhammar

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Rotarians
1. ATTENDANCE: Effective Rotarians always try to attend their club meetings or make up at other clubs as much as possible. They are aware that regular attendance is an important part of their membership commitment and do not miss a chance to attend. They participate on committees, which they are members of, plus others if invited. They are keen to attend all club events and district functions. They participate in the District Assembly and District Conference each year, and have attended a recent Rotary International Convention.

2. FELLOWSHIP: Effective Rotarians enjoy meeting other members and often feel this fellowship is as important to Rotary as the actual business part of a meeting. They go out of their way to talk to those whom they do not know and believe a stranger is just a friend they have not met yet. Outside of Rotary they also enjoy meeting people and getting acquainted with them. At large Rotary gatherings they make an effort to meet others, rather than just fraternizing with friends from their own club.

3. VOCATION: Effective Rotarians respect every vocation and understand how the classification system is the basis of Rotary. They firmly believe that each vocation provides a cog in the wheel and is important, however insignificant it may appear. They firmly believe each member should try to excel in their job and they try to support and help others to reach their full potential.

4. DISCIPLINE: Effective Rotarians understand the value of self-discipline and know that productive accomplishments are hard to achieve without it. They realize that both inner and outer discipline must be maintained in a proper balance and can enforce both disciplines when and where required.

5. TIME, MONEY & ENERGY: Effective Rotarians know they have a purpose in Rotary and fully realize they must earmark a certain amount of time, money and energy to maintain this commitment. They also realize these three things should be shared in proper balance between their family, vocation and community.

6. EMPATHY: Effective Rotarians put themselves in the position of the other person, especially if that person is in difficulty. They know that mere sympathy may not be enough, can be empathetic and feel compassion for the difficulties of others. They believe that what they are doing for their community is merely returning a small part of what they have already received from it. While they may appreciate recognition for their efforts they do not hanker for it.

7. IMAGE OF ROTARY: Effective Rotarians may sometimes feel that all is not right with Rotary or there are too many 'politics'. They know some elements in Rotary need improvement but rather than be negative they use a positive approach to help rectify things. They maintain a positive attitude and portray a good image of Rotary, both inside and outside the organization.

Dear fellow Rotarians, August is the Rotary month of membership and extension, an area of great importance to our organization.The United States leads the way in total number of Rotarians, with 388,170 members. The second largest country is Japan with approximately 103,700 members, followed by India with about 90,000 Rotarians. A couple of interesting observations are that these three countries alone account for 50 percent of the Rotary population and they are all around the Pacific, where 60 percent of the world population is located.

As to the percentage of a country’s population who are Rotarians, the picture is quite different. Iceland is the number-one country, followed by Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, Finland, Denmark, and Australia. It’s fascinating to note that all seven top nations come from the Nordic part of Europe and Down Under.More interesting, however, is the general trend of Rotary membership worldwide. The Far East has a general upward trend. Africa has a trend of small gains like Europe, a steady but small annual positive development. All other areas, unfortunately, show another picture – a downward one.

In the past, we have had several years dedicated to a special and intensive focus on membership. These have been very successful during the time they were implemented, but due to the lack of continuity, the gains have often been lost during the following year.I think it is wise to work towards goals. However, goals must be easy to understand and reachable.

For 2005-06, I have set a goal of a net increase of one member per club. I believe this goal is reachable and understandable. Unfortunately, we have a loss of members each year in the area of 10 percent. This may make the goal more difficult to reach, which is why retention is so critical. If the drop-off rate can be reduced, the goal will be much easier to achieve.

It is therefore of greatest importance that we a) make our clubs interesting through dynamic programs and meaningful projects, b) take care of club members so they feel that their membership is relevant to both them and their clubs, and c) put an emphasis on fellowship and friendship, two of the cornerstones on which Rotary was built.

We need to be strong in membership so that through Service Above Self we can continue to show the world the great leadership of Rotary International.

- Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar, President, Rotary International.

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