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President's Message


2014-15 International PresidentJoseph Preston

Pride Goes Before a Rise

When I was in Africa I saw something I’ll never forget. I came across two lions in the wild, and the male roared. It wasn’t a meek, restrained sound but a full-blown, thunderous greeting. Then he continued to stare at us and roared eight or nine times more. He roared with conviction.

That’s what we as Lions need to do. We need to roar with conviction. We need to put our “paw prints” all over our communities. A roar without conviction is merely a loud noise. Sometimes we Lions sell ourselves short and don’t realize how much we can accomplish. Don’t settle for mediocrity as a Lion or a club. As Nelson Mandela eloquently said, “There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

My theme song, which I wrote, encapsulates the importance of pride and roaring with conviction:

Dig down deep, let it go, and ROAR like a Lion,
Tell the whole world, we’ll never stop tryin’
We are the Lions Club, we can’t be denied, no, no, no,
So dig down deep, and Strengthen the Pride. 

Here’s the key: find the role within your club that best suits you. And discover the project for your club that best fits your community. Soccer star Mia Hamm understood that motivation ultimately springs from deep affection or attachment. “If you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it with much conviction or passion,” she said.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Talk to Lions in other clubs. Read the LION carefully and visit the LCI website. Tips and tools abound. Or use the Building a Better Club method I’ve developed. It’s a simple, four-step process. Assess your club, establish realistic, measurable goals, put the plan together and then implement the plan.

This seems like common sense, and it is. But common sense also tells us to make changes and improvements, to Strengthen the Pride, you need to move forward with a plan. Roar with pride before you leap forward but do leap. Success in service is all about mustering our pride and appreciating our capabilities. The writer Henry David Thoreau summed it up thusly: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Members of the Salamanca de Monterrico Lions Club  in Peru roar with conviction: they distribute food and toiletries to the elderly.

Digital LION
Listen to Preston belt out his theme song at


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