Lauren Schlau

Greetings Fellow LA5 Rotarians! No worries that today is Friday the 13th , right? Actually, it’s a good omen, as we are honored to have our new DG, Guity Javid here today.

I first met Guity and her husband Mark in Peaceful Conversation training. She was then PGN and I learned the alphabet soup of the DG line! I bonded with her immediately, so taken by her intelligence, warmth and generous spirit. She struck me as a real leader and this got me thinking about leaders and leadership.

As Rotarians we are all leaders - little “l” and capital “L.” There are many different kinds of leaders and ways to lead, no right or wrong. Some quietly get the work done behind the scenes; others are out front moving people to achievement. And sometimes we take different leadership roles depending on the situation. Leadership has some overarching defining qualities and characteristics; those who:

  • are self-aware and prioritize personal development. ...
  • focus on developing others. ...
  • encourage strategic thinking, innovation, and action. ...
  • are ethical and civic-minded. ...
  • practice effective cross-cultural communication

And two other leadership qualities that particularly speak to me:

Have Faith in Their Beliefs - a leader has solid faith in their ideas and values. They then build on that by being passionate about what they do, and with confidence in themselves and in followers they want to motivate and inspire.

Serve a Greater Cause - Great leaders have personal humility and the will to lead others in service of a cause bigger than themselves. Great leaders are ambitious, not for themselves, but for the cause, and with the will do what is needed in service of this greater cause. If that is not the definition of a Rotarian, I don’t know what is!

Finally, a great leader lifts others up and brings out the best versions of themselves.

I leave you with this quote from U.S. President, John Quincy Adams. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”

May all of us - little “l” and capital “L” leaders here today – appreciate and thank those who assume this role, and may we be inspired to continue to inspire others in this cause bigger than - and which enhances - ourselves.

Thank you.

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