Our most important value is leadership

Past District Governor Haresh Ramchandani, a member of Rotary International’s Membership Growth Committee, speaks during a past International Assembly.

By Haresh Ramchandani, Rotary Club of LIFE, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Since I joined Rotary in 1997, we’ve had many presidential themes. There’s a new one every year, and they all focus on one or more aspects of our core values: service, fellowship, integrity, diversity, and leadership. But I would like to spotlight just one of those values – leadership – because I think it’s the most important and sometimes gets overlooked. It is by developing leaders that we change the world.

Author John Maxwell said:

“The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders, and continually develops them.”

In Rotary, we often focus on service. And service is important. But I have often wondered why leadership gets less billing. Around the world, organizations find leadership to be an elusive target.

Ramchandani and his wife.

After studying a lot of books on leadership and experiencing it firsthand, I think I have a better understanding of why that is. I believe it’s because leadership is hard to measure and quantify, so people feel it doesn’t work. We focus on areas we can measure.

Take service: What’s the impact? How many people will benefit? Is it sustainable? – All these are measurable.

Or fellowship: How many people showed up? Did they have a good time? Again – measurable.

But just because something is harder to measure doesn’t mean it’s not effective or isn’t working.

Author Simon Sinek said:

“Leadership is not about intensity, it’s about consistency.”

What does it take to develop good leaders? I suggest it takes:

  • an atmosphere of honesty and integrity,
  • where peers instill confidence and conviction,
  • and leaders inspire others,
  • where there is commitment and passion,
  • where being a good communicator is practiced,
  • where you are given direction and empowered with decision-making capabilities,
  • where there is accountability and transparency,
  • where responsibilities are delegated,
  • where creativity, innovation, and flexibility are encouraged,
  • where compassion and service are at the forefront,
  • where these elements are consistent around the globe,
  • and where you can hone and practice these skills regularly.

Where do you find all these? In Rotary!

Here, you develop your leadership skills over time and consistently through training events like district assemblies, district conferences, presidents-elect training seminars, zone institutes, and International Assembly.

I am living proof of this. My formal education stopped at high school, but I’m a proud graduate of the University of Rotary. I’ve gone from leading my club, to leading my district, to serving on the Rotary International Membership Growth Committee.

My call to action is for you to take this message to your members, family, friends, and community. Remind them how Rotary develops leaders. Encourage them to share with potential members how leadership development is one of our main strengths.

Leadership passes our core values down to future generations. Leadership is needed to truly change the world.

Help your members develop their leadership skills by taking these courses in the Learning Center.

7 thoughts on “Our most important value is leadership

  1. Leadership concept can be taught but leader develop through experience in an uncontrollable environment because the quality of a leader in time of certainty can’t compare to time of uncertainty. Rotary embraces that because no club President I was every fully prepared for there year. As a PE the view is totally different when that year is completed and the next year you’re President. RC Kingston East & Port Royal, Jamaica


  2. People often ask what you get from Rotary and we have no ready answer.
    Now the answer is here Rotary adds value to you as an individual through leadership development.


  3. Great Words Haresh. I have been involved training for many years as a police officer but the training I have received within Rotary in sone cases has been superb. Facilitating GETS was a great experience and I learned so much.


  4. Pingback: Our most important value is leadership - Rotary Club of Medford Oregon

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