The main focus of Lions has always been service.  In order for us to effectively serve, we need to work with our Lions and create Leaders in Service.  There are many opportunities for leadership development at all levels of Lionism.  This leadership development also will benefit you in your career and personally.


Leadership development starts when you join a club and your fellow Lions get a chance to know and work with you.  Your club leaders and your Zone Chair work together to identify Lions with leadership potential. You will be offered and encouraged to attend a variety of different forums and institute depending on where your interests in Lionsism lies.

Opportunities For Leadership Development

When you become a Lion, you start your journey in service.  Leadership development is an amazing part of that journey.  Below are some of the many ways you can chose to grow as  a Lion.  Please select each opportunity to learn more.

The Mid-Year Leadership Conference is the Multiple District’s Fall gathering. Held in late October or early November, this fantastic weekend is all about development and networking with Lions.  After the opening session on Saturday morning, breakout sessions are held.  These workshops focus on leadership, membership recruitment and retention, how to plan service projects, and the latest news and training on Lions Clubs International’s projects and initiatives.   This is also a great opportunity to meet Lions from around the state and find out what their clubs are up too. There are also representatives from all four state projects on hand to share their latest news.  Are you interested in attending?  Click this link to learn more

The Emerging Lions Leadership Institute (ELLI) is a yearly institute offered by Lions Clubs International.  This is an amazing weekend only available to Lions who have not yet become President.  This is an amazing weekend where you work with Lions from all over the USA, Canada, Bermuda, and The Bahamas to build your leadership skills and knowledge of Lionism.  From the moment you arrive you are immersed in Lionism and by the time you leave you will have made life-long friends and your Lionistic Enthusiasm will be higher than it has ever been. It’s truly a weekend you will not forget.

This year ELLI will take place on November 3-5, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.   If you would like to learn more, follow this link. If you chose to apply, you must be approved by your club President, your District Governor, and your District GLT Coordinator.

The Advanced Lions Leadership Institute is the companion program to ELLI.  This is for Lions who have been a club president but who have not yet become First Vice District Governor.  It is important to remember that your Lionistic path is unique to you. Attending this program does not commit you to becoming a District Governor. ALLI is an incredible weekend. If you think you were fired up after attending ELLI, to quote Al Jolson, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”  Once again you will be working with dedicated and enthusiastic Lions from all over the USA, Canada, Bermuda, and The Bahamas. You will learn how to plan large service projects, problem solving, challenges that other clubs face, and much more. You will emerge with a reinvigorated passion for Lionism, and as with ELLI, new life-long friends.

This year ALLI will take place on November 10-12, 2018 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.   If you would like to learn more, follow this link. If you chose to apply, you must be approved by your club President, your District Governor, and your District GLT Coordinator. 

Another way you can grow your leadership skills is by developing your communication skills as a member of the Lions Faculty.  These are the Lions that bring about change by providing training via workshops and webinars to Lions around the world.  The Faculty Development Institute (FDI) is the first step towards becoming a facilitator and taking part in the growth and change that makes Lions so exciting. 

You must have some training experience, such as presenting at a Mid-Year Leadership Conference (remember to record your presentation), and have an interest in further developing your skills.   It is important to note that this program is not for experienced professional presenters or teachers, they need to attend the Lions Certified Instructor (LCIP) program which is a separate program for those who are more experienced professional presenters. 

This year FDI will take place on January 19-21, 2019  in Reno, Nevada.   If you would like to learn more, follow this link. If you chose to apply, you must be approved by your District Governor, the Multiple District GLT Coordinator, and your Council Chairperson.

The USA/Canada Leadership Forum is 2 very full days of workshops, learning, interacting with other Lions, and flat out fun!   Their whole objective is to “develop leaders, motivate and educate attendees, provide an open exchange of ideas, and support the programs and goals of Lions Clubs International.”  Their theme at this year’s event is “Building teamwork through leadership“.

This year’s forum is in Columbus, Ohio from September 19th – 22nd, 2018.  Keynote speakers include “Coach Vince Lombardi” (actually John Pinero), Michelle Ray on taking the lead and embracing change, our own Lions Clubs International President Guðrún Yngvadóttir on service, and Jon Petz on finding significance in simple moments. His presentation will be followed by a breakout session: “Boring Meetings Suck!”  There are many more great workshops to attend.  You will leave motivated and enthusiastic!

If you are interested in visiting the USA/Canada Leadership Forum, just visit their website to learn more and register.

Yes indeed, there is a Lions University, and as you gain knowledge you can gain a Bahclor’s, Master’s, or even a Doctorate in Lionism. Lions University is designed to enhance your knowledge and skills so that you can better serve your community.  To complete each program you take 10 required classes, 5 electives (all on line) and complete specific leadership experiences. Once you have completed a class you take an online test to confirm your learning and you receive a certificate of course completion.

In the Bachelor’s program you develop the skills necessary to lead a vital Lions Club and be an excellent club leader.

The Master’s level program focuses on developing District level leaders: Governors, Zone Chairs, Committee chairs, Guiding Lions, and so forth.

The Doctorate program focuses on the skills needed to be a training facilitator for adult volunteers. When you complete this program, you will be a fantastic trainer for other Lions.

Lions University is an excellent way to grow your knowledge and skills as a leader and the program is free! Click here to learn more about it!

Throughout the year numerous training opportunities are offered by your District and Multiple District Global Leadership Teams.  Lions Clubs International also offers many webinars and has online support and training materials that all Lions can benefit from. Just visit their website and look around!  

Each Lion’s path is as individual as they are.  Take advantage of the opportunities above and enjoy your journey in service!