President’s Letter – June 11, 2019

President’s Letter – June 11, 2019

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

Last week Linda, the manager of the Century 21 office that is the rental listing agent for a small  condo I own in Massachusetts, thanked me for my loyalty. I’m going to be putting the condo on the market for sale, and I had asked an agent from the sales side of Linda’s office to make a proposal to earn the listing. I told him, and Linda, that I would be getting proposals from a couple of other brokers, too. When I informed them that I had decided to list the condo with them, Linda thanked me for my loyalty.

I didn’t feel particularly loyal, even though I had been doing business with that office, and Linda in particular, for 25 years. I didn’t feel like I was being loyal because I thought I was just being prudent. I had done my due diligence and made what I thought was a good business decision. I would have felt bad if the Century 21 agent had not been able to win my business, but I would not have felt disloyal for listing the property with another firm. 

Linda had earned my rental listing business year after year by working hard, giving me good advice, providing excellent service, treating me with honesty, and always being respectful. If I am loyal, it is only because she and all of the agents in her office worked to earn my trust and loyalty. They did it by being loyal to me. I suppose I earned it too. I tried to treat them fairly, and respectfully. I tried to always express my gratitude for their efforts. I have been a good client.

That experience got me thinking about our Rotary club. Loyalty goes both ways. I wasn’t required to do business with Linda, and she wasn’t required to do business with me. We both had alternatives. I love our Rotary club. I feel commitment, dedication, and a sort of faithfulness to the individuals who make the club what it is, and also to the club as an entity that exists as something that is separate from the individual members. I have many alternatives to spending my time and money with the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara. I am not required to be a member of the club. The club earned my membership and my loyalty.

The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara is a truly great club that has thrived for more than 100 years. The club has served its community with its members’ philanthropy and volunteer labor. It has served its members with interesting programs, lively fellowship, compassion, and opportunities to learn and serve. If you have ideas about how our club can continue this tradition of excellence, please share them. Share your ideas with me, with the members of the board of directors, and with each other. Stand up during a club meeting and respectfully tell us what you think. Ask hard questions. Ask easy questions too for that matter! 

When our club serves its members and the members serve the club with mutual trust and respect, the club will be a strong and vibrant. It will be relevant to the Santa Barbara community. It will grow. The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara will continue to earn the loyalty of active, engaged members.

I’m looking forward to seeing you next Friday!’
Dean Axelrod


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