People of Action
In a recent survey some club and district leaders expressed an interest in having some training regarding how to be “People of Action.” The concept of Rotarians being people of action is not a new one but, in many ways, why it became important is we may sometimes not do a great job of reflecting on what actions we take, nor do we tell our story well.
If we all agree that within the People of Action, we as Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors and those involved with us are the “People.” The next piece of the statement ‘Action’ is one that we may not have discussed very often. When we look up the word action here is some of the definitions, we find.
Action - the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.
synonyms:
steps · measures · activity · movement · work · working · effort · exertion · operation
deed · act · activity · move · gesture · undertaking · exploit · maneuver · achievement·
accomplishment · venture · enterprise · endeavor · effort · exertion · work · handiwork · doing · creation · performance · behavior · conduct · reaction · response
 
As you can see there are many ways to describe actions. The following are the Rotary International Vision Statement and Mission Statement. If you dissect the two statements, you will see many words that indicate action in one form or another.
Rotary International’s Vision
“Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change ~ across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”
Rotary International’s Mission
“The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.”
 
Now let us take a moment to think about what you and your club do (actions) that help achieve the vision and mission of your club and Rotary International. Does your club do service projects in the community? Does your club have fund raisers to help support those service projects? Does your club give grants to those in your community or as a part of an international grant? Do your club members contribute to the Rotary Foundation that supports on going projects that meet the vision and mission? Is your club involved in any of these? If so, your club and its members are People of Action.
 
Wow, you, and your club truly are People of Action. Now let me ask you, how good of job has your club done about letting your community know what actions you have taken (action) to help create lasting change within your community. The lasting change does not have to be an earth-shattering event but an action that changes the life of one individual or several individuals. A scholarship that helps a deserving student achieve their goal or a service project where much needed food is distributed.
 
Being People of Action is as simple as, joining leaders, sharing ideas, and taking actions. It can be asking club members what projects (actions) they would like to be involved in. It may mean meeting with other community leaders to see what the needs are within your community. It could involve doing a community assessment utilizing the methods outlined in the RI Community Assessment Tools - https://my-cms.rotary.org/en/document/community-assessment-tools. If you want to view other ideas on the topic of projects here is a link to an RI tool - Project Lifecycle Resources | My Rotary.
 
The clubs in District 5400 are full of People of Action. From July 2020 until April 2021, our clubs have reported conducting over 4200 hours of service (action) through reporting in the Rotary International’s Club Centeral. Unfortunately, we have 25 clubs, more than 50%, who have not reported. What would the service hours be if every club reported?
This is one example of how we sometimes give ourselves the credit for all the actions we take to make positive impacts within our communities. If we are not telling our story amongst Rotary clubs how does the community know about the great actions your club is taking. One way to better tell our story is through social media, the news medias, or other means.
 
Telling your story involves publicizing your Rotary clubs’ actions in the community.  Beginning at the member level, members can use their habituated means of communication to tell community members what the club is doing: word of mouth, text messages, Twitter, Facebook, etc. At the club level, notify the local paper about an upcoming service event or fundraiser. Write a press release and e-mail it to newspapers in the area with a follow-up telephone call to the news editor. Announce events, fundraisers, and sponsorships/scholarships on your club’s website or Facebook page. Send pictures to Sandy March, for inclusion on the District Web page; or to Lauren Murdoch for posting on the District Facebook page. Place blurbs about upcoming functions on local community calendars. Posters and automobile stickers are a reasonably priced means of raising community awareness as well.
 
The simplest means of telling others you are involved with other People of Action is to wear your Rotary pin(s) - not just to club meetings, but also in the community: at work, during a Rotary-sponsored event, when you travel. Challenge club members in fun and creative ways to wear their pin(s). As folks see this most recognizable symbol of Rotary, they begin to understand your club’s presence in the community, they may ask questions, and they may come to view Rotary as a positive service organization locally and internationally. Anytime your club members are taking part in an activity (actions) have members wear something that identifies them as Rotarians.
 
If you need ideas, check Rotary International’s Brand Center for logos, templates, and training modules. You can also contact your District leadership for additional guidance.
And once your club has given that scholarship, or planted those trees, activate the same communication channels to tell your community, State, and District about the wonderful contributions your club is making toward a better world.
 
Participating in club service projects, and making contributions to local, national, or international causes make us People of Action. Let us celebrate our successes and raise awareness of and interest in Rotary’s amazing impact on our planet.
 
Being People of Action is a matter of continuing to do the great work your club members are doing within your community as well as your involvement with district events and internationally through grants or projects.
 
As always, your District 5400 leadership stands ready to assist you with any questions you may have regrading being People of Action or any other questions. Find your district leaders at District Organization Chart | Rotary District 5400 (rotary5400.org)
 
Lauren Murdoch
District 5400 Public Image Chair
Steve Gage
District 5400 Learning & Development Team Leader