Re: FW: Leading through a crisis

Donna Brown

Hello Lion Ray,

Thank you for passing this along. I have sent it to my club members.

Lion Donna


From: acb-lions <acb-lions-bounces@...> On Behalf Of Ray Campbell via acb-lions
Sent: Monday, April 6, 2020 9:58 PM
To: acb-lions@...
Cc: Ray Campbell <ray153056@...>
Subject: [acb-lions] FW: Leading through a crisis


Hi ACB Lions:


Thought I’d share this with you all as I don’t know how many have or haven’t seen it.  PID Thompson gives us some things to think about as we continue leading and serving through this crisis.






Lion Ray Campbell, President, Glen Ellyn Lions Club and

Vice President, American Council of Blind Lions



From: PID Jerome Thompson <leadercommunication@...>
Sent: Monday, April 6, 2020 2:05 PM
To: ray153056@...
Subject: Leading through a crisis



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A message from:

Jerome Thompson

Past International Director,
GAT Constitutional Area 1 Leader


Dear Lion Ray,

As a club officer, we have all been stressed by the COVID-19. I am right there with you. This is the week of the month that I usually send out a newsletter dealing with membership, service and leadership benchmarks. To be honest, while important, their priority has taken a backseat to just coping.

At age 19, my father passed away. I dropped out of college (temporarily) and, I went to work for RTM, which operated Arby’s franchises across the southeast USA. It was during the next 18 months that I would learn life lessons that would serve me well. In fact, in the past three weeks, many of them have echoed in my mind.

  1. Profits are important. People are most important. An area supervisor would remind me of this weekly. How you treat your customers today will determine your sales next week.

If we want to retain our Lions, we must treat them well today. A call, an email, a text could make all the difference in the world. Let’s be sociable, while keeping our distance.

  1. Be aware of the needs of others. It was one Friday evening that Jane came to work. I could tell by the look on her face that something was not right. Customers were lined up to place their orders. Every team member was important to maintaining quality service and product. As she washed her hands to start her shift, I asked, “Jane is everything ok?” She broke down in tears. A family crisis was going on at home. However, she could not afford to take off work to deal with it. I insisted we change the schedule to keep her hours, while allowing her to go home immediately. The team understood, we all pitched in and our customers never knew. But Jane did.

As a leader in a crisis, we must be mindful of the needs of our club and cabinet members. They may have the heart of a servant but are distracted by personal situations – loss of a job, loss of a family member, or simply distracted by the wall-to-wall coverage of COVID-19. Leaders rearrange the schedule and assignments to allow others to take care of themselves first.

  1. The vision of the team is most important. One Friday night, in Tucker Georgia, I stood at the front counter. Four school buses loaded with football players, cheerleaders and a high school band pulled into the parking lot. While they were parking, I called the six employees together and ask for their input as to how we would get through the next hour, as we served almost 200 people, most of whom ordered individually. When asked, each employee volunteered to do what they felt most equipped to do. With a common vision of success, we set out to methodically meet the needs of those before us. Ninety minutes later, everyone was served, the group had left the premises and the dining room was a disaster. However, we got it back in order quickly.

One day in March 2020, out of nowhere, came COVID-19. Quickly following on its heals were “instructions to self-quarantine." Then instructions to social distance were broadcast. And finally, governors from most states began to implement “Shelter in Place” orders. The way Lions clubs had served, met and lead was disrupted.

As a leader, it's time we rally the troops, get their input and communicate there is a better day ahead. Lions Clubs International will still be the largest service organization, providing more smiles to the world than any other group. We will emerge on the other side of this darkness a stronger club and district if we take steps to develop a common vision of a better tomorrow.

Thank you for your service and leadership during this crisis. Flexibility is the key to survival. This is a distraction. In a few weeks, maybe a few months, we will begin to get traction and plow ahead. For now, let’s remember the three lessons that I picked up from managing Arby’s at the age 19.

You are not alone. Your Global Action Team, area leaders and I are only a phone call or email away.

H. Jerome Thompson

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PID Jerome Thompson, Global Action Team - CA 1 Leader


This email was sent to the following officers in CA 1: Club Presidents, Club First Vice Presidents, Club Membership Chairpersons and Club Service Chairpersons. A copy of the email was sent to CA 1 GAT Area Leaders and Zone Chairpersons


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