RLI is a grassroots coalition of Rotary districts implementing a leadership development program for “potential” leaders of Rotary CLUBS. Established in 1992, RLI has become a worldwide organization with divisions in every Continent of the world. While it is an unofficial program of Rotary International, it has substantial support of a number of past Rotary International Presidents and current, past and incoming R.I. Directors. (See Senior Leaders Advisory Board under Organizational Information). The R.I. Board has adopted a resolution recommending RLI or similar programs to the districts and the Council on Legislation has twice recommended RLI to the Board.
RLI believes that excellent CLUB leadership (all types of club leaders) is essential to the future of Rotary in a complex and fast changing world. Most Rotarians have not been exposed to the great scope of Rotary around the world and have not considered what leadership skills are necessary to move Rotary forward.
RLI strongly believes that a good Rotary Club leader must know the evolution of Rotary, its current status and activities in the world and have a vision for what Rotary can be in the future. Therefore, RLI provides a three day non-consecutive basic course in both Rotary knowledge and leadership skills, especially for voluntary organizations. In addition to the specific leadership skills sessions, all the RLI sessions have a leadership component.
In addition to the basic three day course, RLI holds in-depth seminars on important Rotary subjects, including leadership, for the “graduates” of the basic course.
The mission of RLI is to have the clubs in the member districts identify those with the potential for future club leadership and send them to RLI courses at club expense. All member clubs may send any club Rotarian to RLI courses and any Rotarian may attend any course at his/her own initiative.
The overriding goal of the courses for club Rotarians is to create ENTHUSIASM for Rotary by opening up to them the world of Rotary outside of their own clubs and also showing them the great potential of Rotary service for the benefit of the world that can be furthered with excellent leadership in our clubs.
RLI is a general education program, while most Rotary International training programs are “job-specific”; that is R.I. trains Rotarians for specific positions. RLI is not a PETS or any other district training program, but graduates of RLI bring a greatly enhanced background in Rotary when they later attend job-specific programs.