The Rotary Leadership Institute

The Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) is a series of fast-paced, interactive courses offered to refine a Rotarian’s leadership skills and increase their base of knowledge in Rotary.

Courses are fun, topical, interactive, and geared toward busy business and professional persons who want to be more effective leaders in their vocation and club and more knowledgeable Rotarians.

Rotary Clubs are encouraged to select at least two candidates for RLI annually. Students return to their club with enthusiasm, new contacts, fresh ideas, an increased understanding of their potential as Rotarians, and valuable skills impacting their potential leadership in the club.


Register for RLI Part II using THIS LINK. (Prerequisite: RLI Part I)

I attended the six sessions of the Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) and graduated after completing the program. It was very enlightening and informative program with facilitators giving facts and history of what Rotary is and can do. They gave us challenges to discuss and asked questions from us on how we would run a club. There was no right or wrong answer to every question they asked and always made you consider what you would do in Rotary to be a better leader.

The number of topics that were covered gave all of us a broad knowledge of what it takes to make a club strong and to get the members engaged in the club.

I highly recommend participation in RLI to strengthen your leadership and function in running a club or group.

Tom W. Stites
Rotary Club of Macomb, Immediate Past President

RLI offerings within Zones 30 & 31 become available as schedules are developed and changed.
Please check the Heart of America RLI website for a current schedule or contact the District 6460 RLI Coordinator, PDG Steve Hopper (

How do I register those who will be participating?

RLI Parts I, II and III are currently being offered through Zoom. Each participant will receive a Zoom invitation upon registering.

Institute Parts I, II and III are each offered in two consecutive sessions of approximately 2 1/2 hours. Each part has a unique syllabus and materials provided digitally.
Click here for Curriculum Description of the three parts. (PDF File)

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Who should be nominated to attend the Institute courses?
    The Institute recommends that clubs nominate those Rotarians who appear to have the potential for club leadership, not necessarily as future presidents. They may even be 3-4 years away from a possible presidency or other key leadership post. Candidates should certainly have a strong interest in Rotary and be ready to be exposed to the larger world of Rotary. The Institute requests each club to nominate one or two Rotarians each year and to support previous nominees in completing Parts II and III.
  2. What are the costs?
    The current registration fee for Parts I, II and III through Zoom is $15 per Part with an additional $1 fee if paid with a credit card. Digital learning materials are included. The institute strongly recommends that clubs pay the fees for their participants.
  3. Why do we need a leadership institute?
    Rotary needs a constant influx of leadership as club officers, etc. change every year. It is difficult at the club level to learn enough about the exciting world of Rotary with its 1.2 million members in 168 countries. Furthermore, leadership skills in a voluntary organization are often different from business leadership skills. It is important that club leaders have every opportunity for education because the success or failure of our clubs depends in large part on the quality of their leaders.
  4. What are the courses?
    The Institute offers a leadership course in three parts (Parts I, II, III). Those completing each part are eligible for the next part. The courses are designed to provide Rotary knowledge and to develop leadership skills for voluntary organizations. Some examples of course sessions include, “The Perfect Meeting”, “Rotary Beyond the Club”, “The Rotary Foundation” (2 parts), “Membership Development and Retention” (2 parts), “Leadership” (four parts), “Creating Hands On Service Projects”, “Vocational Service”, “International Service”, “Analyzing a Rotary Club”, “Creative Service”, “Public Relations”, “Public Speaking” and other subjects.
  5. What are the teaching methods?
    The Institute believes in course sessions with as much discussion/participation as possible, led by trained and experienced facilitators. Discussion breakout sessions are limited to approximately 10-15 persons. Lectures are strictly limited. Course methods include discussion groups, role-playing, problem solving workshops, creating projects and audiovisual presentations. Everyone participates during one of the Institute’s sessions. A course workbook containing an Institute Manual, session program agendas, faculty listings and course outlines and materials, are provided to each attendee. RLI students are leaders and will be personally engaged in, and sometimes leading the sessions.
  6. How are RLI Graduates Recognized?
    Rotarians completing all three undergraduate parts of the Institute will graduate from The Rotary Leadership Institute and will receive appropriate recognition.