Let me begin by greeting and wishing all of you a very happy and meaningful Rotary year 2018–19.
We must embark on this New Year full of enthusiasm and inspire fellow Rotarians and community leaders with our motto of service above self. Our President Barry Rassin has asked Rotary leaders to “inspire the club presidents, and the Rotarians in your districts to want to change; to want to do more; to want to reach their own potential. It’s our job to motivate them — and help them find their own way forward.” Every one of us knows that we work for membership development by introducing our friends, business associates and neighbours to Rotary. Rotary’s strength is its dedicated members. To achieve the goals we have to inspire our members to do more. It is for each of us Rotarians to get involved with the important projects of our clubs and take pride in our service to our community.
How do great leaders inspire others to commit themselves to their goals? It’s not just that they have charismatic personalities, or that they give powerful motivational talks. What they really do is communicate their vision so forcefully that other people adopt it as their own vision.
During the early sixties, at a time when the US space programme was in its infancy, President Kennedy set his vision… to send a man to the moon, and told the American people “We can do it!” He said it with such conviction that Americans believed it, and committed themselves to making it happen. In less than a decade, the first human being — Neil Armstrong — walked on the moon.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” Every moment of Mahatma Gandhi’s life is inspiring. In his young age — the drama of ‘Harishchandra’ was the inspiration for him to speak the truth.
Lee Iacocca took over as the CEO of the sinking Chrysler Corporation and said, “We’re going to turn this company around!” With clear goals, an action plan and the strength of his convictions, he was able to inspire enough commitment from the US government and secure the largest loan ever made to a private company. Then he inspired enough commitment in thousands of Chrysler employees to enable the company to pay back the loan much ahead of schedule. That’s the formula for any leader — clear goals, a pragmatic plan of action and strong conviction.
Inspire by what you believe in
Inspire by leading
Inspire by listening
Inspire by the courage to change course
Inspire by your integrity
Inspire by sharing credit
Inspire by teamwork
Inspire by highlighting Rotary’s success stories
Inspire by recognising good work
Be the Inspiration — and together, we can, and we will inspire the world.
Director, Rotary International