Financial Discipline

During your term, large sums of money may flow in and out: Grants-in­-aid, Donations, & Ticket Sales. The projects, both old and new, could swallow funds. Ensuring strict accountability and complete transparency in all transactions should be the hallmark of your Governorship. Nothing besmirches a crystal reputation like ugly allegations of financial irregu­larity.

Funds cannot be raised in panic or against exigencies. People are always willing to fund longer-planned ventures. And most Lions’ projects build for the longer term – eye hospitals, ambulances, etc. The return on . investment is between generations, and may take decades. We don’t plant wheat, rice and chillies – we grow teak.

An astute District Governor builds a donor constituency. Before, or very early in your term of office, establish good, trustworthy ties with those on whose resources your projects will depend. An ounce of good early PR will yield a pound of returns when needed.

In all these fund-raising and allocations, your office and you must be like Caesar’s wife – above all suspicion by choice, not by default. Transpar­ency in all financial matters should be the hallmark of your governorship.

It is not even necessary to stipulate that no action or transaction by a District Governor, individually, or in council, violates the law of the land, whether taxation, building codes, licenses or whatever. The reputation of a large international organization lies in your hands. Treat it with care and ensure that, whether from accounting, legal, taxation or moral view points, the district is clean.

The challenge is to your integrity. On one spectrum, ethical behaviour, on the other manipulative. On a perpendicular spectrum, political awareness on one end is balanced by naivete on the other.

If you are ethical, but naive, you are innocent, credulous. If you are unethical and naive, you could be stupid or inept. If you are unethical and politically aware, you could be cunning, and a manipulator. The ideal is to be politically aware and ethical- though wise and credible.