Our guest speaker for this evening was Lion Ed Burt who came to talk to us about membership. Lion Ed is a 31 year Lion who has held many district and local club offices and is currently serving a 3 year term as the Global Membership Team leader.
Lion Ed started off by discussing a quote from Warren Bennis, a widely respected organizational and leadership consultant, “A leader should create a compelling vision, one that takes people to a new place and translate that vision into a reality.” As Lions, it is our job to show leadership by discussing what Lions do and what membership means with prospective members. To help in discussions with potential members clubs, must make sure that they can answer several questions: 1) Is your club engaged, 2) Is your club reinventing itself to better serve the community, and 3) Are you committed? As Lion Ed put it, if you are engaged, committed, and enthusiastic about what we do as Lions then you are ready for new members.
Lion Ed’s message about how to ask for new members was pretty simple and straight forward, you don’t get anything or get anywhere unless you ask. Two things that are important is to create an opportunity to ask and have something to share. Lion Ed was very complementary of the business cards we have at the Apex Lions Club to hand out and mentioned it is a great idea as it gives the prospective individual something to take with them and also gives us an opportunity to get their contact information so we can follow up at a later date.
The final point Lion Ed made in his presentation was about meaningful involvement, if you make everyone’s participation joyful and meaningful you are more likely to retain existing members as well as recruit new members. Lion Ed had an excellent handout where he compiled information from various civic organizations websites to show what people look for and what tends to make them more active in their involvement. One of the best ways to do this is to always listen to the community, see what the problems are in the community, and do what you can to help solve the problem.
Lion Ed closed with a quote from Maya Angelou, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.” He then went on to tell a story about collecting money for White Cane and having a little girl walk up and give him $5 and tell how tankful she was for the Lions Club as they helped her get her first pair of glasses. As Lion Ed stated “It is moments like this that make all of the work we do as Lions worth it.”