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President Thaya's Message

13 April 2022




My fellow Rotarians and friends of Rotary,





Rotary leadership is an act of service undertaken to realise positive change for our community and its people. New leaders take charge with high aspirations to transform their clubs, their districts, or the Rotary International headquarters. Efforts to realise these goals rely on both strategic planning and good strategic execution or implementation.

We, at the Rotary Club of Strathfield, are going through a transition today for a transformation tomorrow. Why the transition now? There are many reasons, but I would like to highlight three important reasons. Firstly, our club just celebrated its golden jubilee last year, completing 50 years of service, locally as well as globally. We finished at the half-century mark with an award as the best club in the district. It is time for us to prepare ourselves for the next 50 years. It has to be intentional. Therefore, we are going through a transition to transformation. Secondly, our club is also conscious of the post-COVID-19 scenario. Just like everything else in the world, Rotary will also change. If we embrace that change with proper planning and strategies, it will definitely bear fruit and we will leverage it to serve our community better. Thirdly, Rotary is working on a strategic plan at every level. We have four strategic priorities (as you can see below). It was originally developed by Rotary International and promoted by our district, and our club adapted it very well, customising it for the Rotary Club of Strathfield. Our strategic plan gave us clarity and focus for us to move forward. We are in a transition phase now in order to transform our club for the future.

 It is also prudent to see, very briefly, how we are progressing with our strategic execution. As we had our club assembly last week, we briefly discussed all our projects this year. But most importantly, we introduced the "Programs of Projects" concept this year with our own programs (as you can see below), which will help us mainly expand our reach and increase our impact. We are progressing with more than 30 projects. The value ranges from a $300 sponsorship for student leadership training to a $120,000 global matching grant project.

What did we do differently? An approach with three core steps has consistently worked:

1. Ensure that you aim high enough;

 2. Complete a rapid, inclusive planning process; and

 3. Focus relentlessly on execution, accountability and sustainability.

In our subsequent edition, we will take a deep dive into each step of our approach in our future edition.

After this year's transition, our new leaders will quickly shape and implement the change management we seek. The challenges are great, but with the right approach, we can meet it. The secret is to define a high aspiration, drive a rapid and inclusive planning process, and to focus on execution. Leaders who can do this will leave behind a positive impact that lasts well beyond their tenure of service. All I can say is that if transition is not painful, then we are not making progress. When transitions shake us to our core, see that as a sign that something bigger and greater is about to happen - a gradual and progressive transformation.

"For most of us, the problem isn't that we aim too high and fail. It's just the opposite: we aim too low and succeed."  - Sir Ken Robinson

Rotary Service to You

Thaya Ponniah

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Last Update Tuesday April 12, 2022