Ethical Dilemma Discussion: what would you do?

A prominent business leader recently joined your Rotary club. They run a global business and their customers are primarily Rotary members. This new member doesn’t seem interested in club activities or service projects. Every year, your club selects members to send to the Rotary Convention, and your club’s leaderships selects this new member to attend as they think it will inspire them to get more involved within Rotary. The member mentions they plan to exhibit a booth promoting their business in the House of Friendship for the entire convention and don’t anticipate having time to attend general or breakout sessions. It seems the only reason this member joined Rotary is to grow their business.

What would you do?

12 Replies to “Ethical Dilemma Discussion: what would you do?”

  1. There are many and varied reasons for joining Rotary just a shame that this Member is so blatant about his/her reason for joining. Perhaps a reminder of the 4 way test and a contribution from the benefits received go to Rotary Club Project and/or Rotary Foundation.
    Over time some Members will develop relationships with other Members for the benefit of their business and we encourage networking within Rotary.

  2. Keep him in, and leave it for time because through the club,s activities he should learn that ROTARY IS A WAY OF LIFE, and it includes SERVICE ABOVE SELF. If he cannot follow and apply this motto in his social and business life, he will ultimately drop out by himself.

  3. I would ask the member to advise the leaders who selected him that he is going to the convention to promote his business and therefore cannot accept their generous offer to send him at Rotary’s expense. If he/she refuses to do this, I would ask the leaders to, given new information, rescind their offer. If they refuse, I would bring it to the club for a vote. If the club voted in faour of sending the member regardless I would have to either support the club or resign.

  4. First, he should have had a session with a member of the Club to explain the true meaning of Rotary & our service goals, Second, we are at fault at placing “new” members in official positions. My husband was the best at ‘schooling’ new members….he always explained that “we do not join Rotary to GET business, but business MAY come as a result of our membership”

  5. The club would be wise to set criteria for the privilege of attending the convention – what is the purpose of attending? Something like; Attendance at convention is given as an opportunity to grow and learn as a Rotarian. If you accept you must attend all plenary sessions and at least two breakout sessions. Also compile and deliver a report to the club on your return.

    Create this expectation first and the problem will not arise. Now that it has – introduce it retrospectively – again have a reason ; to avid conflict arising in the club over the issue.

    1. I like your thoughts on this. By introducing the expectation that the Rotarian should report back to their club both parties will benefit from the convention. Word of the content of the convention will spread to further club members through the attending Rotarian and hopefully the Rotarian’s own understanding of what being a member of Rotary will develop. It would also give them an avenue to decline the offer of attending if they felt that they couldn’t meet these expectations.

  6. In my opinion we should not select any new member for attending Convention who is not involved in Rotary projects . Secondly attending convention should be on it’s own expenses that is more ethical and will hold The Four way Test at large. Orientation of Rotary’s service above self Moto and guidelines of Rotary must have been explained initially which should have been reminded to him if he is not getting involved. And then if he changes his way it’s okay otherwise he should be asked to say Goodbye

  7. I suggest that the member should be allowed to go to the convention !
    When he was admitted to the membership, the club must have assessed his human qualities and capabilities and found his admission is likely to be mutually beneficial.
    Nobody can become “a prominent business leader” and “run a global business” when he is utterly self-centred. If he has a profile whose “customers are primarily Rotary members” and he has joined a Rotary club where he connects with other Rotarians, he definitely has some innate urge to be useful to the society. Even if he starts a business booth at the Rotary Convention, he is most likely to be impressed by and appreciate the larger Ecosystem of the Rotary whereby he will improve his own behaviour pattern

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