In fact, energy is a new theme, a new focus for me in Rotary. You can tell the difference between great clubs and others the moment you come in contact with them by their energy. Whether it is the first time you view the club web page, the first time you walk in to a club meeting or when you have the opportunity to ask a member, "What is it like to be a member of this club?"
Great clubs have tremendous positive energy. They celebrate wins, recognize contributions, express gratitude for hard work and for financial support. They also laugh and smile a lot - usually for good reason. You don't need to look up membership reports to know whether a club is growing. You can tell the moment you walk in.
Great clubs also practice fair process. Fair process means giving members a chance to get involved in decisions, to shape the vision of the club and to put their stamp on programs and projects. Fair process means that even if a member's wishes are not part of the path that is chosen, so long as they feel they have been given a chance to offer their ideas, have been heard fairly and that the decision process is open and honest, then they will be more likely to support the direction that IS chosen.
Great clubs make it easy for members to contribute their energy - their time, their talent, their money. And therefore, great club leaders know that their job is to help keep the energy going. They remove barriers. They make their mission and vision clear. They are focused on impact, not just keeping people busy.
Great clubs also capture the energy of the people they serve by bringing their stories of impact and gratitude back into the club. This is often when members get a bit wet in the eyes. They are touched to find that because of Rotary, the kids stop dying. Because of Rotary, I will graduate and will try to practice the values I learned from my Rotary mentor. Because of Rotary and ShelterBox, thousands more kids and their families do not have to sleep outside tonight.
What can you do as a Rotary leader to help people unleash their energy? If you notice people "voting their energy" elsewhere, are you a confident enough leader to ask them what's up - and then take the time to listen? Are you putting positive, energetic people in charge of your most important projects? Are you courageous enough to talk directly to those who suck energy from your club and address the issues head on?
Who are the positive deviants in your club? Who are the people that other club leaders feel comfortable going to for advice? What are you doing to keep those people engaged?
Great clubs are all about positive energy. And they know there is no energy shortage when important work needs to be done.