My Rotary club is making it hard for me to lead them

Friday May 24 2019

Moses Ssesanga

Moses Ssesanga 

By Moses Ssesanga

I was recently appointed president of my Rotary Club but my biggest challenge is that I am finding it difficult to lead a group of people who think they know more than I do. Please advise. Ambrose.

Dear Ambrose,
Rotary by its nature of one year terms of leadership ensures that Rotarians find themselves leading leaders to deliver services. Newly elected presidents are always installed to lead former leaders, such as past presidents, district governors and assistant governors, among others! Definitely leading such people poses a challenge.
Over time I have come to realise that the biggest challenge for people who lead is leading leaders. Leaders are strong-willed, passionate, and opinionated, and many do not take direction very well. I would, therefore, recommend the top five tips borrowed from David Daum, prescribed for leading leaders.

Listen. Listening sets the tone for everything else to follow. It will make the individual you lead feel heard, and you may glean some valuable ideas from them.
Be transparent. Leaders demand information so that they can make the best decisions possible, so the straightforward approach is key.
Persuade not order. Do everything by persuasion, by listening and by understanding the other point of view.

Dialogue. In situations where there is absence of dialogue, things break down very quickly. Engaging in dialogue helps leaders to grow and it also improves your own leadership at the same time.
Walk the talk. Good leaders exhibit the qualities they want the people they lead to have. Leading by example - by doing and not just talking – can make a huge impact on the quality of the results.

Moses Ssesanga
Head Human Resource
NMG - Uganda