Taking a double membership, being a Leo and a Lion at the same time, gives the opportunity for current and former Leos, who have been a Leo for at least a year and a day, to make a gradual transition to becoming a Lion. This would allow them to slowly leave behind the Leo Brand and feel more comfortable with the Lions one. In my point of view, it’s a potential opportunity for those 26 years old or older Leos who have had the opportunity to serve as district and/or multiple district officers, so maybe they don´t have so much leadership opportunities at the Leo Program but they are very passionate about the program and feel part of the institution.
We should acknowledge the existence of a generational distance between Leos and Lions, which sometimes gets in the way of a good relationship and understanding from both sides. Considering the high average age of Lions, it makes it difficult and less attractive for 25 to 31 year olds to join directly (without being a Leo previously). Leos in this age range have an invaluable knowledge that is really valuable and it would be important to keep in the program. The key is to find a way for them to share back that knowledge. However, currently it is difficult for them to find a role from which they could contribute, especially if they had previously already held leadership positions and are now not offered similar possibilities..
On the other hand, Lions need young visions and who better to provide them other than Leos? Most of them have joined the program 8 to 10 years ago and possess incredible knowledge about the Leo Program, the Lions Club institution, of formal management and mainly (and for me most importantly) the experience of human management. They serve as advisers for both Leos and Lions. Therefore, we should strive to promote cooperation of teams composed by Leos and Lions both internally and externally, as this would attract new potential young candidates.
Enhancing the inclusion of young people, is what allows us as an institution to project ourselves into the future and better understand the reality of our current community.
Being double membership allows a Leo to continue enjoying that “Leo passion”, working and participating at Leo events in that particular and flexible way that characterizes and motivates Leo members. This way, they can keep that “Leo fire” burning, but are gradually increasing their level of participation on Lionism.
The “risks” of double membership, as any policy, program or plan, is the human behavior itself of misrepresenting and misusing the image of double membership for other purposes that are not the growth and improvement of the institution. In this meaning, we need to mention the occurances of “conflicts of interests”. In my view, a possible conflict of interest could arise if a member holds a decision making position in both Leo and Lion movements simultaneously. For example, if you are still a Leo, being a Lion member at the same time you cannot be a Lion Club President, District/ Multiple District Leo Chairperson, Leo Club Advisor, Zone Chairperson, District Governor. And from the other side (Leo Program) I understand you could not hold a position in a Board of Directors (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer) at any Leo level, Leo Club, Leo District/ Multiple Leo District. On my understanding do not represent a problem those merely administrative or coordinating Cabinet positions.
Being a Leo and a Lion member at the same time is not a real problem, the main worry for the organization is to be able to see what is “behind the curtain” and visualize the potential that it has in terms of being attractive for extremely valuable partners. Thinking about those Leos, who for reasons of age must leave the Leo Program in the near future, we should offer them the opportunity to continue serving in the organization that saw and helped them grow in community leadership. We must improve the Leo goal “leading for life” and this gives an opportunity for Lions to demonstrate that the “for life” part could be achieved in Lionism.
1- The Leo to Lion transition program is a Lions Club affiliation program, that offers current and former Leos, above the age of legal majority and below the age of 30 and who have been as Leo for at least a year and a day, to join an existing Lions Club or charter a new Lions Club, giving them Credit for Leo years of service, an entrance fee waiver and International dues discount through the age of 30.
2- The Leo Club membership ends either once the person reaches the age of 31, by their own decision or by the decision of their club.
3- “Leo-Lion” does not refer by itself to the person possessing a double membership, instead it refers to the Lions transition program, and thus about the membership type as many others (e.g. regular member, family member, student member)
The Leo to Lion transition program makes it possible for those current Leos between 18 and 31 years old to join a Lion Club and remain affiliated with the Leo Club.
It’s not mandatory for the Leo to give up their membership in their Leo Club to apply for the Leo to Lion transition program. Considering that a requirement to join a Lions Club is to be over 18 and membership in a Leo Club ends when the person turns 31, it is nowhere specified that the Leo Club affiliation ends if the person joins a Lions Club.
When the Leo to Lion transition program was originally created approximately 10 years ago, there was no thought of the possibility of having a double membership. This is the reason why the “ll2form” speaks of “ex Leo under 30” or “ex Leo over 30”, This form has been the same and has not been revised in recent years.
In the meantime the double membership has become popular mainly in Constitutional Area III (Latin America and the Caribbean) and VI (India, Asia, Africa and the Middle East). Where applied, it is encouraged to further develop and formalize the double membership. Meanwhile, as it is not stated otherwise, the International Board of Directors in its November 2017 meeting decided on a recommendation on the issue in which it leaves to each District’s freedom whether or not they accept double memberships.
That said, in the same way as at the international level, under the criteria that what is not prohibited is allowed, as long as Districts do not specifically regulate it, double memberships would be allowed. In this regard we can see that there are Leo-Lions with double memberships in the countries that have already adopted the program, such as Uruguay, Perú, Argentina, India, Egypt.
To finish, let me introduce Leo Multiple District “J” (Uruguay) Past Presidents,
(L to R) Me, f.y 2014-2015. Fernando Plachicoff, f.y. 2013-2014. Ana Belo Aita, f.y. 2012-13 Federico Silva, f.y. 2011-2012.
We all Leo and Lion joining Montevideo Ansina Leo Club and Montevideo Ansina Lions Club.
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
Let’s adjust our sails and navigate towards the future together!