With his father, Jim, being a Lion “for as long as I can remember,” A.J. Westlund, a zone chairperson for District 13- F, has made serving as a Lion a family affair. Upon settling in Columbus, Ohio, he joined the Westerville Lions Club and asked his wife to join him in 2012. “So it can be truly stated that Lions is becoming a family tradition, which I hope to pass down to the coming generation,” says Westlund. On creating a Lions Learning Center (LLC) account, Westlund recalls, “The experience was extremely easy and the help screens were very informative.” Patricia Quamina, 2012-2013 president of the Dumfries-Potomac Lions Club in Virginia, agrees. “For me, it was easy to create an account and take the courses,” she says of the multi-pronged learning program. The Lions Learning Center is a critical component of the Leadership Resource Center (LRC) on the LCI website. It provides members like Westlund and Quamina with training and development opportunities to not only promote their own personal growth, but also to spur them on to leadership excellence. The LRC also has four other areas of concentration: Global Leadership Team, Development Opportunities, Training Materials/Resources and Leadership Communication. All are designed by experts to provide Lions with an array of tools and information to increase and enhance their leadership skills. The LLC offers a variety of online courses organized by four key skills: Leadership, Managing Others, Achieving Results and Communication. Meeting Management and Decision Making are two popular courses. Westlund adds, “So far the most interesting course to me would have to be the Servant Leadership Course.” Another experienced LLC user, Rosanne Burrus, 2013-2014 club president of the Stafford Lions Club in Virginia, says, “I recently finished Creativity and Mentoring—both were very interesting and provided solid suggestions for motivating folks to participate.” Completed online courses are recorded automatically in a personal “Profile Report” for Lions, who can also add other training they’ve received at district, multiple district or international conventions for a comprehensive file of what they’ve achieved. The profile report may be exported, saved and sent electronically to others. Lions can immediately begin to develop new leadership skills, says Elaine Fisher, electronic learning manager at LCI. “There are only two steps to take. First, create a user account and second, complete the requested profile information. For a personal touch, Lions can add a photo to their profile. Lions can complete the Introduction to Leadership course and the Writing Your Personal Mission Statement course, which helps evaluate what is most important to the Lion. Courses can be taken at your convenience, 24/7. There are several course recommendation lists to provide guidance to members who want to develop leadership skills for a specific position they want to attain.” In taking advantage of what the LLC has to offer, Westlund says, “I have been able to expand the reach of the Lions ALERT program and have become a featured speaker at club meetings, district conventions and statewide training seminars. I hope to be able to pass along my knowledge and experience.” One proven advantage of online learning is that students can learn at their own pace. “Don’t try to complete all the courses at once,” advises Fisher. “Learning new life and leadership skills take time and patience. Create a realistic plan for completing courses based on time, goals and Lions-life balance.” For more information, contact LLC@lionsclubs.org or visit www.lionsclubs.org and search for “Lions Learning Center.”
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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