Sunday, 25 May 2014

Highlights of the 2014-2015 International Theme: Strengthen the Pride --- JOE PRESTON

During 2014-2015, we can “Strengthen the Pride” by bringing the 1.35 million members of our Lion’s family closer together, working in a spirit of cooperation and understanding. This is not the pride of being boastful; it is pride of accomplishment in building communities, providing meaningful service, and helping those who cannot help themselves. This feeling of pride forms the foundation of our commitment to serving others, and has made us the global leader in humanitarian service. This is the platform for success in the coming year, through our centennial, and well into the next hundred years of our association.

Strengthen the Pride through Service
Service has been the bedrock of our association since we were founded 1917, and in 2014, we will embark on a three-year centennial celebration to honour our commitment to serving our communities:
  • Centennial Service Challenge: This celebration of service will begin in July 2014 and will conclude in December 2017.  There will be four elements to the Centennial Service Challenge, with special recognition available to clubs that report their participation in the Global Service Action Campaign projects that align with the program.
In the coming year, clubs are also encouraged to participate in a special project by responding to children in need, such as those that address literacy, hunger, abuse, or poverty – wherever there are children lacking resources and support. Invite friends and family to participate in these activities.
Strengthen the Pride through Membership Development
Our focus is on service, but our strength is directly tied to our members. While we have been fortunate to sustain membership growth over the past six years, that growth must continue if we are to maintain our role as the global leader in humanitarian service. We can promote membership growth and development in the following ways:
  • Ask One: Every Lion should invite at least one new member during the 2014-2015 Lions year, and focus on pursuing those who demonstrate a desire to serve others. Tools, such as the “Just Ask” brochure, are available to support this effort.
  • Set the Expectation: Clubs should prepare to welcome new members so that there is a timely club approval, meaningful induction, and a thorough new member orientation. The International President, district governors, past officers, and directors will expect to be included in inductions whenever possible.
  • Every Club Needs A Plan: Clubs should create Membership Development and Leadership Development plans unique to their club and community
  • Special Targeting: While we strive to grow in every demographic, members can be encouraged to focus on inviting women and younger people to join their clubs
  • We Need More Clubs: Take advantage of extension tools and resources, including the assistance of Guiding Lions, to establish and develop new clubs.
  • Rebuild Existing Clubs: Assign a Guiding Lion to work with clubs experiencing challenges to help them increase membership, develop better club operations and to expand service.
Strengthen the Pride by Strengthening Your Club
It is time that we got back to the basics of strengthening our association from the “Club Up." Every club will be encouraged to examine what they are doing and consider implementing new management strategies and techniques to energize their club.  The goal is to have clubs with better focus, direction, drive and purpose. Clubs can accomplish this with a number of strategies:  
  • Participate in the Community Needs Assessment to determine how best to serve their respective communities
  • Invest in building relationships with new members, and treat them like family
  • Participate in the Club Excellence Process (CEP) to improve club effectiveness and enhance the membership experience
  • Ensure that all members are actively involved in club activities and operations
  • Sponsor a Leo club
Strengthen the Pride through Leadership
We can strengthen our clubs by developing strong club leaders. Effective leadership development starts with a meaningful induction and a proper orientation, and from there, clubs can encourage club leadership development in the following ways:   
  • Assign new members to committees to develop their leadership skills
  • Ensure club officers are trained to fulfill the responsibilities of their position
  • Establish a leadership development plan that includes goals for member orientation, mentoring, zone meeting participation and other leadership training
Strengthen the Pride through Partnerships
We can do more and accomplish more when we work together with like-minded people, companies and organizations.  Clubs are encouraged to partner with others when it is mutually advantageous, strengthens their communities, and helps the club better serve others.  
Strengthen the Pride through Rededication
Our founder, Melvin Jones, instilled the pride of service in our first members, and nurtured pride in membership as Lions Clubs International began to grow.  As we prepare for our centennial, schedule a celebration of Melvin Jones’ birthday on January 13th as a tribute to our founder, and rededicate yourself to the community and humanitarian codes, objects and principles of our association.  
Strengthen the Pride through Giving
The more you give, the more you have to give. This year, all clubs are invited to make a contribution to LCIF, the charitable arm of our association.
Strengthen the Pride through Creativity
The ability to adapt and take on new challenges has been an important part of our past success, and has helped us thrive in an ever-changing world. To ensure our future growth, we need to creatively embrace technology and use it to our advantage. LCI has built a strong network of online and social media tools, and we can utilize them to Strengthen the Pride in the following ways:
  • Engage in social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the LCI blog and other sites
  • Promote the development of club/district web sites and social media pages (i.e., Facebook)
  • Use and promote tools like Service Activity Reporting and MyLCI, which make it easy for clubs to report activities, find information, and share their pride
  • Take advantage of learning opportunities related to social media and attend seminars or training events at your local conventions, area forums, or the international convention
Strengthen the Pride through Courage and Conviction
Lions members have both courage and conviction.  As Lions, we need to roar.  We need to tell the whole world who we are, that we will never stop trying, because we have service to perform, and we are going to provide it, no matter what the challenges are.
District Governors-elect, we have the opportunity to “roar” louder than we ever have before by focusing our efforts through service, membership and club development, partnerships, leadership, rededication, creativity, courage, and conviction. Coordinate your efforts, collaborate with the teams and resources available to you, and commit to Strengthen the Pride

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