I made my first visit to Friends of Yoga Toastmasters Club last Friday. They seem like a great group of people and very dedicated to Toastmasters. They had a good meeting which culminated in the election of their Executive Committee for next year (pictured at left). I wish them all good luck in their roles and hope to be able to attend their meetings on a regular basis.
As I meet more Toastmasters and learn about the Clubs in my Area, the importance of my role becomes more apparent to me. While the duties set forth in the District Leaders Handbook seem straightforward, there are subtle elements that will take some time for me to understand. That's the thing about Leadership, I guess. If it were easy, anyone could do it. Or, perhaps more aptly put, if it were easy, more people would stand for election for the position.
So where do I start? I think it is with people. An Area Governor does not work alone. Area and Club goals are based on the accomplishment of members. What is needed from me is not so much a vision, but a belief. A belief in the values of Toastmasters International, a belief in the dedication and abilities of the Club Officers, and a belief that the Toastmasters in my Area are willing to set goals for themselves and do their best to achieve them.
When I was elected Area Governor, my first thoughts were about what I wanted to do. How much I wanted the Clubs in my Area to accomplish, and the hopes I have for the Toastmasters in my care. That lasted about half an hour.
Then I began to think about the kind of commitment that would be required from me to meet those goals. The time, the energy, the focus, and the strength. Toastmasters isn't the only commitment I have. Would I be able to juggle everything and keep my promises to myself and others?
Worse yet, I don't want to start out with grandiose plans and then abandon them as I become overwhelmed. This is no small fear - it has happened in the past. There are six Clubs in my Area. I have to believe in myself before I can convince so many others to follow where I want to lead.
And also, I know that others are watching. People who elected me, people I know and respect as Toastmasters, and people I have never met. Can I meet the expectations of others as well as myself?