District Director's address


In last month’s article, we emphasized the importance of planning and using the plan. This time, we want to address how we execute it. There are so many approaches; I will summarize them into these categories: quickesteasiest, or the soundest. Throughout my career, I have applied them all. The question is, what do you think is best to use? 

Different types of approach:

I fell into the “quickest” approach when my focus was only on the end goal, as I tend to finish it fast to be done with it. By using this approach, I often created friction with people and rubbed others the wrong way.
I fell into the “easiest” approach when time is a significant constraint. The painless and less time I need to spend to finish the project, the better. This has its pitfalls, too, of either being seen as cutting corners or not showing care.
The hardest but lasting is the “soundest” approach. This is sometimes the most time-consuming but brings the most reward. This is the approach where we take care of the relationship that we create along the way.   

A goal and approach:

One of our goals, as we laid out in our District Success Plan (DSP), is to:

  • 40% of clubs achieve Distinguished Status. 

This is hard to achieve, especially if we lose members left and right. Is it achievable? YES, it is, as we have seen several of our clubs successfully gaining members. Moreover, we reached 34% of clubs achieving Distinguished status last year. Our district’s previous average is 45% in the last ten years, so setting it to 40% is doable. Regardless of how difficult or easy it is to achieve this goal, we would be more successful if we apply the soundest approach where we foster and nurture the relationship with one another and with our members. 

  • Applying empathy as we drive to increase membership and increase members’ participation. Imagining other’s perspectives helps demonstrate empathy. On one end, our new members’ hesitance to deliver speeches differs from those of seasoned members to credit speeches to Pathways. In all cases, applying empathy will nurture that relationship.
  • Mentoring guides our mentees. While doing so, it benefits both the mentors and their mentees. It develops the relationship as both learn new things, build networks, and grow as professionals.


No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt. I recently heard this from my mentor, Jacquie Schnider, our Past International Director (PID) and Past Direct 42 Director (PDD). It is very timely and related to this article. I have heard of it before, but it is easier to remember when we are practicing and doing our best to improve our leadership. When we show how much we care through empathy or mentoring, the better we will get responses from others. We will become better as leaders when we admit there are sounder paths than quicker ones. When we realize that relationships are essential to cultivate and nurture as we strive to reach our goals, we can achieve long-lasting rewards.

Eugene Sicat, DTM 
District 42 District Director

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