Friday, March 9, 2012

Toastmasters Friday: Whattya Mean You're Going Into Leadership?

Yes, hell has frozen over and I'm in line to be the next Area Governor here in my local geographic cluster of clubs known as D26/F/2.

Some of you may be thinking it wasn't long ago I was stepping down as President of a club, and moving behind the scenes at another, all in protest of Toastmaster's rebranding themselves as a place "Where Leaders Are Made". Well you're right. So what business do I have going into the leadership track now?

So why try become an Area Governor? Have I drunk the Kool-Aid? Am I now a card-carrying proponent of the new branding? No - not at all. I still have yet to run into any new members who joined to be leaders, or because TM is now saying it's a great place to train leaders. Doesn't mean they don't exist, but none of 'em had stopped by to MY club.

So how can I take a leadership position? Won't I have to tow the line? I don't think so. For one, the program has yet to really change. Nothing I'll be encouraging my clubs to do will be any different than a few years ago. I don't have to convince them to buy new banners or lecterns. Primarily, I'll be checking in to make sure the clubs are meeting their goals, TM's goals, and the goals of their members, regardless of their use of a tagline.

Additionally, I'll be a resource for any issues that may come up with the clubs, and be responsible for setting up two Area Contests throughout the year. There's more, of course, but it's all doable.

Area Governor will NOT equal Drill Sergeant...
What I won't have to do is push the tagline down anyone's throats. In fact, I haven't experienced anybody beyond a Brand Manager, training at TLI, or the Board say much at all about the branding. Our trio supports it, but outside of color and logo changes, I haven't seen much dogma coming forth.

Also, let me be clear, I don't disagree that Toastmasters teaches leadership. I simply disagree with it being the lead dog. I believe leadership springs from our longtime strength - communication. It was this reasoning I used to talk to our club members about pursuing their CL manuals last night. I don't think it steers away from the new brand at all, other than putting speaking in the driver's seat, where it's always been.

I'll certainly mute my dissatisfaction with the branding, that ship has long sailed, for one, and it wouldn't be 'becoming of an officer' for another. It sounds like TM is working on creating more leadership-driven projects, so perhaps "Where Leaders Are Made", if not wholly accurate today, will be within the next few years.

In the meantime, I support our program as it stands today, and I find no issue with serving as a District Officer, and TM should have no issue, either.

On my side, I'm not competing this year - I'll be speaking at another District Conference the weekend of my own anyway. I've been wanting to step away from competing, so what better excuse for the next two years than this? I can finally get my DTM award, which I've been on the cusp of for years. Wait til my blog posts on my High Performance Leadership project!

Who knows, I might just run for a higher office next year. I could be ineligible for the next six years if I go up the chairs. But first, lets tackle AG, and see if I can Govern....& Deliver.

1 comment:

  1. me too, probably from July, and I feel the same, more or less, but still excited to know new clubs and help out



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