Namaste! The divine in me salutes the divine in you. Welcome to our new century. My goal over the next 12 months is very simple—to reach a new level of service to Lions and from Lions. Before I ask you to reach a new level of service, Lionism will reach a new level of service to you.
So how can I serve our 1.4 million Lions? I cannot give everyone senior positions. I cannot give you money. I cannot meet all of you. However, I plan to touch all of your lives with the power to serve.
So let’s examine every stage of one’s Lionistic career and how I can help. The first stage is becoming a new member. When I became a new member 43 years ago, I suddenly felt as if I had left my hometown and become a man of the world. This year, I want every member to download our new mobile app. This will connect all our members on one global platform.
The next stage is beginning to serve. As a member of the Batala Smile Lions Club in Punjab, India, I was proud of how the community began to respect me. This respect depended on the number of people I served and how many people were aware of this service. We now have a new Global Service Team. Your District GST leader will identify projects that serve the maximum number of people per dollar and per hour. They will also train Lions on how to convert a normal project into a Legacy Project via Lions branding and public relations.
The third stage is aspiring for leadership. While I enjoyed rising up the Lions’ ladder, I sometimes wished that our leaders focused more on work than on long speeches. A new awards system will incentivize the efforts of Lion leaders in the right direction. We plan to reward retention of members, hence keeping the focus on you—our existing members. New awards will also be given for involving over half the club in service and for creating the most Legacy projects.
As a global leader of Lionism, I want to keep every Lion connected to Lionism. Our new Welcome Home program is an international online club for members unable to attend club meetings. Meetings and fee payments are conducted entirely online.
The last stage is now. I want to give every Lion the same goal for the next 12 months. My dream is that every Lion will serve 10 people each month. If this happens, we will serve 170 million people this year— a big increase from our current level of 100 million and a big step toward our goal of serving 200 million annually by 2020. This is the focus of all my meetings around the world.
All the best. See you as I travel around the world.