I was sitting in church the other day and we had a visiting pastor.  He stepped up to the podium and I saw a young man who I thought was all of 14 years old.  I know my wife thinks that I either sleep through the sermon or just don't pay attention.  But this young man got my attention and as he went on I found that his sermon drew me in, and I listened carefully.  As I continued to listen I associated the sermon to our Rotary Club.  So today I am going to talk about our Rotary Club being a “Deep Club.”
 
We have all attended Rotary Conferences and by now heard that we should strive to be a VIBRANT CLUB.  I believe that we can build on that goal and take it a step higher.  I believe that we can be a DEEP CLUB.  We are going to take a look at what is a Deep Club.  What is the DNA of a Deep Club?  What does it mean to us as individuals and as an organization to be a Deep Club?
 
There is a thought leader, Simon Sinek, who writes about how leaders can inspire cooperation, trust and change.  He says that most of us fall from our path because we focus so much on what we do that we forget why we do it.  If we are going to make a difference personally and organizationally, long term, then we really have to be intentional about why we do what we do.
 
So why a Deep Organization?  Because the story of our organization matters!  The story of Valle Verde Rotary matters.  Let us celebrate this club because the people in this club have a story in this community and in this world.  While we as Valle Verde Rotary members meet in this humble quarters our story is being told in this community.  Each of us, each of you also has a personal story, your place, your bigger story that also matters. 
 
As we age and go about our business our story becomes a little foggy.  Things have changed.  The community has changed. What took care of people, what satisfied people, what attracted people years ago no longer works.  Consider the church service of yesterday.  Some of those services in big tents, loud music, dramatic sermons.  They have all faded away because they no longer meet the needs of their members. Service clubs don’t attract people and keep members like they used to.  When organizations focus on community, connection, and collaboration they thrive. When it’s about the people.  When it's about the transformational power of relationships, community and engagement then the organization as a Deep Organization is important.  So we are all here for a worthy purpose, not by accident, and we are part of the story.
 
Any organization can have great speakers, parties, lunches, videos, and slogans.  Our story is important because we are a deep club.  We are about purpose, community, and service that engages us to one another as well as to those we serve.
 
In Tucson a collection of organizations gathered to talk about how to make Tucson a flourishing city.  This conversation generated more questions, including “What is the DNA of a transformative city?  What are the keys to organizations that are transforming their people, and their people are transforming the organization and the community around them?  Are their common characteristics?  Research finds that Deep Communities and companies do three things together.
  1. They create together.
  2. They lead and love together.
  3. They invest in each other.
 
This sounds pretty corporate, touchy freely, lofty, and broad.  But this comes from the Bible.  Go figure right!  After all this was a sermon.
 
The commentary goes  deeper with direction to care for what already exists but also to create what doesn't yet exist. We all perform random acts of kindness; hold the door, pay for a cup of coffee, etc.  We should continue those good deeds but it is not enough because true good deeds and service comes from the grit under your nails, the shovel in the dirt, and the sweat on your brow.  This is the hard work, creative, loving transformative service that transforms communities and people.  Deep Organizations care for what already exists and create what doesn't yet.  Deep Organizations create together.
 
Deep organizations demonstrate inter generational collaboration, the younger with the older.  We must be role models and mentors to those who join and those who follow.  Research shows that a critical factor in people leaving the church is the absence of relationship with an older person.  In the workplace, Employees quit their jobs not because they dislike their work but because of their boss, supervisor, or CEO.  ROTARY clubs lose members because of lack of engagement, absence of relationship.  Younger people want to have a relationship with you.  There is a younger person who desperately needs a relationship with you.  A Deep Organization requires that young people and older people have relationships.  This requires older Listening to the younger, and the younger listening to the older.  Mentors most often say, “I have this wisdom.  Let me pour it into you.”  Young people want you to pour it into them but they also need an opportunity to share back.  A Deep Organization leads and loves together.
 
Investing and resourcing into each other is important.  In Tucson, at the University of Arizona, 82% of the graduates leave Tucson upon graduation.  Only 18% will stay.  Deep Organizations must invest in its members to give them reason to stay.  University of Arizona graduates are lacking mentorship and professional connections, someone that will help them reach their dreams and goals.  They are lacking people that will invest together with them.
 
We are a Deep Organization.  We have a story, we have human resources, we have much to offer.  Younger people can benefit so much from a connection with the members of Valle Verde Rotary.
 
What does all this mean for us as individuals?  Be creative: See a need, fill a need.  At home, at work, in community, and in the world.  If you are filling a need you are being creative.  Relationships: Make time for relationships.  Allow younger and older to be near you.  Us older folks don't know how to have a relationship.  We get things done by checklists.  We do so many good things but they are so much more about the check boxes and check lists than about relationships.  Young people are much better about relationships than us older people.  We can learn from them.  Let us encourage each other through relationships. 
 
Deep Organizations, deep communities; Create together, They lead and love together, and They Invest in Each other.  Valle Verde Rotary is a Deep Organization and our story matters.  This year Sahuarita, Green Valley, District 5500, and Rotary International will hear our story.  Together we will Serve Humanity.