To Lead, We Must First Ask How We Can Serve

Dr. Jung-Yul Choi

Greetings Lions!

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Have you heard this saying? This is supposed to speak to the limits of persuading people to do things that may be good for them. But I see this differently.

I say, maybe the horse wasn’t thirsty.

Maybe the horse was hungry. Or tired. Or maybe he had a sore tooth that needed treatment. Often, when we assume we know what is best for someone, we are wrong.

Good leaders do not just lead people to water. They ask them what they need and bring it to them. I call this servant leadership.

As Lions, we are all leaders. And it’s our responsibility to listen to those we serve and do everything in our power to get them the tools they need so that they can in turn serve the cause. In my year as leader of Lions, I will be continually asking those I meet how I can help them to be better Lions. I ask you to do the same.

If you are a district governor, ask your club presidents what they need to bring in more members. If you are a club president, ask your members how you can help them have the best experience as a Lion. And if you are a Lion, reach out to the community. Ask them what they need. And then bring it to them.

That is how we all become leaders in change for the world.


Dr. Jung-Yul Choi

Dr. Jung-Yul Choi

International President, Lions Clubs International

We Serve