Many Rotarians question this requirement for various reasons. Maybe it is because they have served as president of their club in the past, or perhaps they argue that they have served on many boards of community organizations – and, by the way, are leading a successful business.  We also hear the argument that other community organizations give a short orientation – so why do we have to go to PETS and other subsequent trainings? “Can’t I be a competent club president without all this training?”
As leaders of our district, we just assume that training is necessary for club, district and other Rotary leaders. We see the value in continuing an education that takes us on the same journey that Rotary must travel to stay relevant as an organization in today’s every changing environment. This is imperative to attract and keep our valued members.
What is it about Rotary that values education and leadership development so much as compared to other groups of civic activists?
Rotary is different from most community‐based organizations, partly because other civic organizations often have professional executives who work for, or with, the board members. That gives the organization continuity, which is often lacking in a Rotary club.     
Rotary is different because it is not only community‐based but worldwide and has developed service projects of great scope. If you don’t know about these worldwide projects and activities, you can’t very well participate in them.      
Rotary is different because the leadership is purely voluntary on the club level, and it’s clear that good voluntary leadership usually means a good club and vice versa. Annual turnover means that clubs need a constant influx of good leaders to keep the momentum going.      
Rotary is different from many other civic organizations that are often single‐issue oriented. Rotary’s strength is that it is not a single‐issue organization but meets the needs of society as they arise.  That flexibility of service requires considerable skill and knowledge in so many areas.  
Rotary is different from business organizations because Rotary leaders do not have the leverage that business has to motivate its employees. Successful service to others requires creativity, organization skills, the ability to influence and motivate members in important and often complex projects, and to convince members of the value of helping others.   
So where does education and training come in for Rotary? Rotary knowledge is necessary to avoid constantly reinventing the wheel, to participate in projects with others around the world, to obtain ideas from others, to learn how projects and activities work, to understand the philosophy and principles of Rotary, to learn from the greatest variety of peoples ever assembled in one organization, and to become part of a team.     
Some people may think that leaders are born that way, but experts tell us that everyone can improve his/her leadership skills. A great business leader may not necessarily become a great Rotary leader because the leverage used in business does not always translate in Rotary. The only thing that works in a purely voluntary organization … is leadership – in its purest form. Leaders have only their influence to aid them. The first step in acquiring these skills in our changing volunteer organization is PETS.
As you can see from the following illustration, PETS is a cog in the continuum of the training for the Rotary Strategic Plan. It happens to be the first of many opportunities to hone the skills required to lead your club and leave your legacy for the leaders that follow.  Not to mention, it is just fun to meet new Rotarians, catch up with those you rarely see, all the while developing life-long friends and relationships that you will learn to trust an appreciate.