Leadership

Feb ’19 Special educational section: Pathways one year on

Special educational section: Pathways

March the 20th will see the first anniversary of the District 71 roll out of the revitalized educational program that is known as Pathways. This section starts by reviewing how we have got on and then moves towards looking to see what new things are happening and tips for moving forward:

Reviews

  1. How have we got on?
  2. Pathways level 1 and onward
  3. Pathways Benefits – a user summary

New things

  1. The New Engaging Humor Path
  2. Easyspeak Pathways Progress Chart
  3. Pathways Pin Badges Now in Store
  4. Pathways Schematic Chart

Tips going forward

  1. Revised HACKING PATHWAYS for New Members A guide to Basecamp

How have we got on?

By Daniel Sandars DTM, District 71 Public Relations Manager

In November Toastmasters International published Pathways enrolment statistics for all Districts. Worldwide 55% (39-69%) had enrolled in Pathways within which 69% (46-81%) of officers had and 50% (35-68%) of new members (joined after 1st July 2018) had. Within District 71 the figures were Members 44%, Officers 59% and new members 48%. Just published data (Feb 22) has 49% of members, 63% of Officers, and 57% of new members enrolled in Pathways in the District.

You may think that all new members after the roll-out are enrolled on Pathways, but that is not instantly true as it takes time for new members to understand and operate Basecamp (virtual learning environment), choose their paths, and enrol. In clubs that support their new members with electronic and printed level one materials that enrolment step may only occur at the end of their level 1.

Curiously, around one year before our rollout the three pilot District’s D27, D51, and D57, who were a testbed for Pathways development, fully rolled out and they have only reached 61% of Members, 74% of Officers, and 51% of New members enrolled. Clearly there are diminishing returns to the extent of enrolment over time whilst the legacy program runs until 30th June 2020.

One of the stronger patterns in the rollout data is that the more members a club has enrolled on Pathways the more likely new members were to have enrolled. Peer to peer support within the club seems to help new member orientation to Pathways. A key question clubs could thus pro-actively ask is how are we supporting new members and each other with Pathways?

The educational awards registered by our clubs since the first of July, which is the beginning of the current Toastmaster year, provide additional insight. To date we have 595 awards of which around a third are from the Pathways program. The relative rate at which Pathways Awards are being registered is accelerating from around one in ten awards last July to nearing half of awards registered in February

Excitingly, we now have three people who have been awarded all five levels of their paths, thus completing them and moving onto their second paths. Close behind that we have five who have been awarded four levels, six who have been awarded three levels, 25 who have been awarded two levels, and a whopping 134 who have been awarded the first level and are catching up. Well done all.

What paths are members taking?

District 71 Pathways Awards 1st July ’81-22 Feb ’19

Key PM Presentation mastery, IP Innovative Planning, EC Effective Coaching, DL Dynamic Leadership, VC Visionary Communication, PI persuasive Influence, LD Leadership Development, MS Motivational Strategies, SR Strategic relationships, TC Team Collaboration, and PWMENTORINGPGM Pathways Mentoring Program (which is not a Path, but one of the overarching leadership projects)

Presentation Mastery is clearly a favourite generating over a quarter of the awards. The top three paths alone generated over half of the awards to date. Innovative Planning, Effective Coaching, and Dynamic Leadership are leadership focussed and their popularity is at striking odds to the popular [mis] perception “that nobody joins Toastmasters for leadership, they join for speaking”

Which clubs have registered the most Pathways Awards?

Table 1 Clubs that have registered three or more Pathways Awards

Club Pathways,
Awards, No.
Div H14 Huntingdonshire Speakers

9

Div E42 Heart of England Club

8

Div A23 Republic of Work Toastmasters Club

7

Div N51 A1 Speakers

5

Div S43 Aberdeen Toastmasters Club

5

Div N31 Warrington Toastmasters

4

Div H44 Bedford Speakers

4

Div D8 Clonmel Toastmasters

4

Div A3 Blarney Club

4

Div N15 Leeds City Toastmasters

4

Div G1 Ipswich Electrifiers Speakers’ Club

4

Div S33 Linlithgow Speakers Club

4

Div H32 West Herts Speakers Club

4

Div N48 Manchester Orators Toastmasters Club

3

Div N15 Strictly Speaking Harrogate

3

Div G1 Camulodunum Club

3

Div E6 East Midlands Speakers

3

Div C19 Dundalk Toastmasters Club

3

Div J2 Accentuators

3

Div D28 Maynooth Toastmasters

3

Div M26 Clondalkin Toastmasters

3

Div F12 Loughrea Toastmasters Club

3

Div S43 Inverness Toastmonsters

3

Div H20 Hertfordshire Speakers Club

3

Div G41 Cambridge City Communicators

3

Congratulations to all those involved.

Pathways level 1 and onward

Julie Kenny ACS ALB VPPR Ipswich Electrifiers

I’d been hearing about Pathways (then Revitalised Education Program) since my first district council meeting so by the time it came along I was keen to get my nose into it. I didn’t know what I’d think of it, but my curiosity meant that I just wanted to know as much as I could. Unlike a lot of members, the technical side didn’t worry me, I’ve spent many years with computer systems, using and developing, and I took my usual approach; I would defeat and master it by clicking everything and seeing what happened, if all else failed I would find and read the instructions. Overall that approach has worked with the Pathways Basecamp, but I have resorted to reading instructions and learnt that a there’s a few things I shouldn’t have clicked – beware, you cannot re-do an assessment.

The questions I really wanted answers to were about the projects. What would I be asked to do, were these things I wanted to do or could benefit from, and as a long-standing Toastmaster and committee member could I understand what the intention was behind these projects and the benefit to members and clubs; essentially, I tried to reverse engineer the program.

The first hurdle was choosing a path. The assessment gave me a list of choices which I found near impossible to prioritise, so I turned to the wealth of information others were sharing about the paths, primarily the Pathways catalogue. I went through the paths and projects to understand what was involved in each, picking up on things I really wanted to do and others I wanted to avoid. One colour coded spreadsheet later I had chosen Leadership Development; it has opportunities to organise small and larger events which I enjoy enough to want to be better at. What struck me most however is that although there is a lot of leadership in the paths there isn’t really a path that isn’t about speaking. Yes, you may work on a project to develop leadership skills but very few of those aren’t completed by giving an evaluated speech. I don’t think everyone has grasped that yet

Once chosen I wanted to get moving on my ice-breaker, mostly so that I could get to know the system by completing a project. I’m on my third CC so it’s not my first ice-breaker but it coincided with a fantastic opportunity; the Safe Haven team were asking for speeches at the pre-conference Anglo-Irish meeting and I got accepted. My ice-breaker was then my story so far, told to a group of Toastmasters but outside my comfort zone. Some of these I’d seen speak before and I was in huge awe of. I think it went OK, but I’ll admit I was very nervous.

Regards the project itself, the information and videos were good with tips on preparing, basic structure, timing and handling nerves. New members often put too much into their speech and overrun so I could see how this project helps, particularly when using the speech preparation worksheets. The challenge to me was not to rush ahead through the project screens, it does take you step by step with great hints and it’s easy to miss something. As an experienced member it’s good to know how newer members are being supported too.

The second project in level 1 is evaluation. I think this is the game changer for clubs in a good way. Essentially you give a speech and then repeat it or a version of it, before evaluating another Toastmaster. Possibly every club has seen members who either have no interest in their evaluations, argue with the evaluator during the evaluation itself and either won’t evaluate others or have bad habits when they do. The evaluation project outlines good practice and courtesy and asks for the member to actively listen to and use their evaluation. I was planning to speak about our club at a networking event, so the core of that presentation was my speech for this project. My improvement points made me realise that I tend to speak more ‘to my audience’ than ‘with my audience’. So, on the second version I reworked it with more questions and better opening. It was better the second time around and since then well received at the networking event. The final step where you do an evaluation and get feedback was insightful and more specific than the feedback I’d received for my CL.

Every path’s level one completes with a research project. Digging into the detail on this it’s also about speech structures. The challenge for me was not only to research but to keep track of that research and credit accordingly. The growth of the internet has made it easier and easier to plagiarize speeches and I suspect the question of originality is being raised more and more often so I’m glad to see this tackled head on. My speech was centred on Mary Lee Berners-Lee (an early computer coder and mother of Sir Tim Berners-Lee), I found the research hugely addictive and it will be a theme I return to. Keeping to time and getting the credits referenced I found challenging but I managed to do so. On reflection this project is also likely to help those who struggle for topics, once you explore something you have a passing interest in it’s easy to end up with ideas for more speeches than you planned.

So, level 1 completed, Fiona Watt our VPE is very good at approving and submitting awards so I’m looking at level 2. For leadership development my next project is Managing Time. In the CL this skill seemed to be more closely related to clock watching in a meeting. But I find my challenge is to track all the time it takes me to write and practise my next speech – a daunting prospect because I know I’m rarely honest with myself about that. Frankly it can only be a good thing.

 

Pathways Benefits – a user summary

By John Kendall DTM DL5

The District now has five members who have completed full paths and several others who are at a very advanced stage. I conducted a survey on a self-selected group of experienced Pathways users who are active on Facebook. The question posed was “What do you regard as the most important benefits that Pathways brings us?”

I have added the sub headings, edited whilst keeping the essence of the quotes.

Choice

  • The flexibility to choose specialization right at the start of your journey.
  • Members can choose printed or online materials and use what works best for them.
  • There is a wealth of materials and videos which I love.
  • To expand your mind! Learning how to plan your speeches with greater meaning and connectivity with your audiences.
  • Pathways provides a framework for a successful educational journey.
  • Opportunities to broaden communication styles e.g. blog and podcast. In line with social media.
  • There are choices aplenty, like fish in the Ocean. If you want to catch it, it is yours to do so, refrain and you will not get it.
  • Pathways is a treasure house rich with enormous wisdom. You have a lot of freedom you can enhance your talents.

Support

  • So much support material for every project! For example, the elective project “vocal variety,” provides much help on exactly what vocal variety is, how to implement it, how to practise it, and an example video! I LOVED it! And this has been true for every project I’ve done!
  • You can, like me at 82, be walked through the process, very patiently (from TI phone call), and I have had zero problems with it since.
  • Excellent learning resources e.g. videos, assessments, etc. 

Design

  • Pathways is so practical with lots of examples and materials.
  • Adult modern learning, more practical and deep projects, experiential learning and reflecting our club meetings as were there 100 years already.
  • Pathways it is not restrictive, so you can go farther. Once we understand the ropes, personalise each path and even each project, get used to reflect, improve, we get a real adult blended learning.
  • For me on every project I find something to utilise in my everyday life and this helps me to not only grow as an individual but to see a growth in my business too!
  • As relatively new, the videos help me understand certain concepts and the before and after quizzes are awesome. They push me to check my progress.
  • Good for those that learn best using videos. Others it doesn’t suit can download the projects.
  • I like the levels with increasing challenges as you progress.
  • Each path & mentoring underscore theory with practice through short (1 month), medium (3 months) and long projects (6 months).

Potential for Change

  • You can provide that feedback when you complete the project.
  • I agree with the evaluations that we can enter after the completion of each project. Doing it will help towards the programme being updated & changed in the future
  • Some projects are very well done and provide great examples already. I have faith that others will be improved.
  • It should be easy to expand and enhance the entire programme as we move forward.
  • It will benefit from pruning some new & under used aspects.
  • It should be easy & efficient to update & distribute changes with electronic publishing. For instance, the videos obviate the need for huge quantities of written material
  • Demonstrated with the new 11th path in February on Humour & with its new projects.

Evaluations

  • Give and receive more effective evaluations (express feedback in both words and numbers)
  • In pathways you learn to evaluate early on and self-evaluate all the way through & be evaluated by others.
  • The before and after quizzes have meaning once you get to new material.

Mentoring

  • A thorough introduction to mentoring in increasing sized projects.
  • Really understanding pathways and mentoring will mould real leaders.

Other Comments

  • Paperless should be a big help when we get there.
  • The ability to complete more than two speeches per manual outside of a Toastmasters meeting. Good for those that learn best using videos. Others it doesn’t suit can download the projects. (Important to some)
  • Having the ability to choose additional options.
  • I needed a new experience. Pathways has inspired and challenged me to rejuvenate my journey.
    Pathways gave new incentive and passion to me. Top of Form
  • Pathways integrates Communication and leadership skills like the real world.
  • Saving evaluations online to refer to at a future point of time – if you scan & load paper versions.

Individual Benefit

  • Breaking through those barriers and ‘doing it my way’. I set out with a plan in mind for my second and third Paths, once I had learned the ropes in Path number 1.
  • I could choose my goals, then select the relevant themes for the required projects, then choose my preferred electives to enable me to reach those goals.
  • Now that I have mastered skills in being a communicator, leader and mentor I now have a clear outline of how to help others in their journey.
  • As a self-directed learner and Pathways Guide, I learned quickly the navigational how-to in Base Camp and am now preparing a Learner Guide for those who are new to the system.

Suggestions

  • I believe vocal variety is so useful, it should be much closer to the front of the learning curve.
  • Some of our retired members, myself included are moving right along in Pathways. We oldies are perfectly capable of learning the technology.
  • However, we may need to help the less capable
  • I am dedicated to helping members get used to the navigation in Pathways, so they then focus on improving their speaking and leadership skills.

Value

  • You could choose one path and do all the electives giving you access to lots of extra projects at no cost.

The New Engaging Humor Path

Toastmasters International launched Engaging Humor, the 11th path in the Pathways learning experience, helping members develop their funny bone to entertain an audience.

This path is designed to help you build your skills as a humorous and engaging public speaker. The projects on this path focus on understanding your sense of humor and how that sense of humor translates to engaging audience members. The projects contribute to developing an understanding of how to effectively use humor in a speech, including challenging situations and impromptu speeches. This path culminates in an extended humorous speech that will allow you to apply what you learned.

Engaging Humor is only offered online and is available to all members. Its projects, which include titles such as “Know Your Sense of Humor” and “The Power of Humor in an Impromptu Speech,” offer strategies on writing humorous speeches, using effective timing and pacing, crafting strong openings and even how to cope when your jokes bomb. (Tips: Don’t sulk, don’t be irritated with the audience, and take time later to analyze why some bits worked and some didn’t.)

As with the other 10 paths in the program, you advance through five levels that increase in complexity. The projects include interactive activities and videos, which feature insights from experts such as Darren LaCroix, Toastmasters’ 2002 World Champion of Public Speaking and longtime stand-up comedian Judy Carter, author of The Comedy Bible.

The humor path draws on many of the same concepts highlighted in the Humorously Speaking manual in Toastmasters’ traditional education program. The importance of understanding and developing your own style of humor is a key aspect. So is wringing comedy out of personal stories and anecdotes that will resonate with your audience. Engaging Humor features a Story Collection tool in Base Camp that enables you to gather your own trove of funny stories.

Please share and promote this exciting news to the members of your district as well as your local media. For more information about Pathways, visit www.toastmasters.org/Pathways.

Additional Resources:

Easyspeak Pathways Progress Chart

By Daniel Sandars District 71 Public Relations Manager and Carole McCulloch

Those clubs (roughly half (55%) of the District) that use the meeting management system Easy Speak now have new tools to help manage Pathways

If you are an easy-Speak user, you can access the new Pathways Chart from the Club Charts option in This Club on the main menu.

Above is a screen capture (anonymised) of a Pathways Chart from my club where the VPE can see progress being made by all members through each of the five levels in a path, at a glance.

This new service makes it super easy to verify completions of actual speech deliveries in your club. The green ticks indicate speeches completed at club meetings, dark green for earlier events and lighter green for more recent events. Each green tick is clickable for tracking back to the actual meeting where that speech was completed. Note: you may need to visit the meeting agenda to see which Pathways project it refers to.

Each member’s enrolled Paths are shown as clickable links in the final column. Each one will display a complete list of speeches and projects completed for that Path, showing titles, dates and Evaluators. Here is a glimpse of one of mine! (Note: I can now mark this Workbook Complete.)

Easyspeak Pathways Chart

Pathways Pin badges

Path Pins in Silver and Level 5 Proficient Pins in Gold Now Instore (search shop on path name): https://www.toastmasters.org/shop

Pathways Schematic Chart

Only for the brave as this is a very busy chart, but invaluable for some members for strategic overview and planning.

This is a complete Schematic of Pathways educational programme following the addition of the Engaging Humor path.

With thanks to Masayo Arai D76 Pathways Guide, in collaboration with Aaron Leung from D89 and sometime D70 Pathways Advisor

For best results printing use A3 paper and check out the source below for updates

Source: https://musashiurawa.toastmastersclubs.org/pathways.html

Revised HACKING PATHWAYS for New Members – A guide to Basecamp

By John Kendall DTM

Pathways Learning Experience – has three score projects spread over eleven paths and five levels – accessed via an online system new to most people. Most people are happy with the projects & paths, but some want more options added. First new path added is Engaging Humour [See this issue for more on this path).

Start by logging in to www.toastmasters.org

  1. On your first log in enter your email address and choose the forgotten password option to set your password
  2. Log in & your name should appear at the top. (If you click on it, it shows your profile and settings)
  3. You now have access to extra things, such as the current issue of our magazine.
  4. Navigate (i.e. find your way) to pathways learning experience – the collection of Toastmaster Projects.

You read, LEARN/DO & then speak, be evaluated & compare your skill levels at the start & finish.

Step 1 you are to choose your path in 3 ways

  1. by answering a score of questions & trusting the algorithm
  2. read the names & descriptions
  3. by looking at the projects required at the highest levels & other research.

If you are less keen on using online learning until you know more, your Vice President of Education can send you the Navigator (the guide to all things toastmasters) as a PDF & first three projects as PDFs. You can then choose your path later, but it must be before you wish to go to Level 2. [PDF – Portable Document Format is a widely used electronic file that can either be printed or viewed on a computer or smart device]

Step 2. Do projects in a level?

Minimum – activate & launch project (expand to full size to see section menu at the bottom!)

  1. Self-score your current skill level & press submit
  2. Go to evaluation section & choose “print” to download a PDF. Leave Basecamp.
  3. Use PDF for source of learning (print if prefer), prepare Speech.
  4. Print the evaluation part of PDF, give speech, keep completed evaluation.
  5. Go to basecamp, relaunch project, go the last section self-score skills & press submit.

You will be invited to evaluate the project – this is not required & gets no reaction, but your feedback helps update our program.

Some projects have educational videos, calculators and resources to use online. The printable PDF version of the project will have their equivalent including answers to the questions.

Step 3. Complete a level

  1. Activate last (completion) project – this sends email to basecamp manager. Leave basecamp
  2. It can help to send your own email to the three basecamp managers (BCM) and ask them to complete the level. In it make explicit, if you wish, that you also want the club to register your completed level Award at Toastmasters International for your official records (in the Club Central portal).
  3. Wait. Remind BCMs, if you need to.

That is all. The rest is unnecessary. This is all you need to know.

You do not need to upload evaluations.

You do not have to give feedback (well you won’t get much from others)

Know how to find editable evaluation forms for others, but it is helpful.

Extra Information

Faster Access to pathways

I usually log in to Toastmasters.org

  1. click on “welcome John” name at the top.
  2. Those chose to go to pathways block & click on go to my transcript.
  3. Find the line with the pile of books Icon = levels & projects & has your pathname
  4. Click on the Curriculum on the Right-Hand Side, to access levels & projects

Home for Evaluation Forms

On the top of Left-Hand-Side (LHS) there is a menu button home.

It takes you to some images without function.

It has one useful button below on Right-Hand-Side (RHS) to take you to English evaluation forms in alphabetical order when you page down. In principle you should email a copy of evaluation form to your evaluator & print it for the meeting.

Also, at top of screen Right-Hand Side is a place to enter information about yourself.

Original Entry route

First blue rectangle is how you purchase a path.

Second is how you change club or switch to be BCM (irrelevant for most)

Note well the third blue rectangle – this navigator has interesting information on Toastmasters.

This is NOT the same as the navigator in Basecamp which is about basecamp.

Club Officer’s tips to Help Starters

Newcomers to toastmasters must learn lots of new stuff compared to just being handed a manual to read. They must learn to log on to TI, get to pathways, choose a path & learn about basecamp. It is unsurprising that many members fail to start quickly, especially as many new officers are completing traditional projects and don’t have a good feel for pathways yet. We need to make it easier.

One solution is to have a local expert – a pathways Champion
or Mentor, ideally who has reached level 3 at least… who can spend time with each new starter.

In the meantime, without a champion, another approach is:

  • Step 1. Give beginners a PDF of Navigator, Projects 1-3 in level 1 (all Paths are identical at this point) to peruse.
  • Step 2. Have a store at the club of all the evaluation forms at level 1.
  • Step 3. During their progress through level one gradually take them through the steps of logging on to Toastmasters.org, choosing a path, then finding their way in basecamp.

Then they will be able to stand alone ready to do Level 2 on their own.

Remind them to store their evaluations & feedback somewhere in a format convenient to them.

Explain to them that undertaking all roles – Ah-Counter, Timer, Grammarian, and Evaluators as well as being Toastmaster of the Meeting, gives them opportunities to learn to listen, speak to a live audience and practise leadership skills.

Explain to them that between speeches they are expected to undertake a role.

Tips for Basecamp Managers

If you receive an email from a colleague

  1. Log in & change mode to BCM.
  2. Look for requests to approve a level – & click to approve.

Validation – This can be a challenge as Basecamp doesn’t provide you with evidence so one way is to use your meeting system such as Easyspeak to track progress, but in the limit ask to see the member’s speech evaluations if in any doubt. [The Easyspeak team have used released a Pathways progress chart see subsection in this issue]

[Leadership Tip:

Many Officers may miss the Competent Leader (CL) manual as a means of motivating volunteers to take meeting roles and become contest chairs. It is true that Leadership projects arise differently in Pathways. However, the Competent Leader manual was never the decisive argument given how infrequently they were brought to meetings and worked from! Tanya Barad’s advice “I tell people not to look at the check box exercise but to look at the outside life skills, leading a competition, give them the opportunity to speak in a different capacity. Build experience for the club. Someone must do it or everyone in the club loses out. Why do us experienced people still do evaluations after the 100th time? Not for CL but to improve, to get a speaking opportunity and to support the members in the club“] Daniel Sandars

Club Leadership: Pathways Schematic Chart

This is a complete Schematic of Pathways educational programme following the addition of the Engaging Humor path.

Beware it is an overwhelmingly busy chart! Some more experienced members may find it useful to get a strategic oversight of the entire Pathways programme.

With thanks to Masayo Arai D76 Pathways Guide, in collaboration with Aaron Leung from D89 and also D70 Pathways Advisor

For best results printing use A3 paper and check out the source below for updates

Source: https://musashiurawa.toastmastersclubs.org/pathways.html

Stepping into a Leadership Role – Why not you?

By Elizabeth Nostedt, DTM; Region 10 Advisor, Past Region 11 Advisor, and Past District 59 Director

Within a brief time (if it hasn’t already happened by the time this goes to print), your District team will be asking YOU if you would like to step forward and take a leadership role at the District level – as an Area Director, Division Director or higher. You may have many different thoughts about this – like:

  • Am I ready for this?
  • Do I really want to do this?
  • I have so many other things happening now.
  • What do I have to do in this role X?
  • and so on.

Leadership roles are not obvious to all of us, but they can certainly help us grow as people. Let me tell you a few leadership stories from my career in Toastmasters and in a corporate setting.

As Area Director (AD) – this is the true test of serving others.

As Area Director, people may look up to you as the person that should know everything. But that is not necessary – because there are so many resources in Toastmasters to help you – like the District Leader manual. This is exactly what I learned – I did not have to be an expert. I knew how to read – and I learned to ask good questions. I could ask the person who was AD before me, and I could ask other District leaders. I could also say – “I don’t know the answers to that.” I further learned that when I conducted Club Officer Training and when I visited the clubs in Area – I learned so much about people. I learned about their wants and needs and dreams for being a leader. I learned that I was the servant leader to them.

I set the vision for the Area for the year. I believed that our clubs could be Presidents Distinguished and through the training sessions, we reviewed how to do it with the club leaders. They caught the vision and understood it. We achieved it.

As soon as that Leadership Vision was clear, then it was my role to help them implement it. It included further interpretation of what each goal meant and what actions were necessary.

The biggest learnings came from working with others as volunteers. Of course, all the club officers are volunteers! And as AD, we are volunteers. So, it is not like at work where we work with employees, that they are expected to do the work because they are employees and get paid to work. It meant that I reflected on if I needed help with something, how could I best ask for help, and would this appeal to the person I asked, so that they would help.

As CGD, PQD and District Director

These roles further expanded my learnings as a leader, because there were more committees and more work to be done THROUGH others. A vision, an inspirational idea, enthusiasm for the work, willingness to do the work myself – these were all ways to work through others to achieve our goals. I learned to coach others with great open-ended questions so that they often found the answers they were seeking.

Was it all easy? Definitely not! I can certainly say there were challenges – but they also meant large leadership/personal learning lessons. There were people who could not get along with each other, an area director who did not want to build a new club – because he/she knew better, keeping District conferences within budget, and so on – each challenge came with a new lesson to be learned.

Servant leaders are motivated by caring and the agenda they seek is mutual benefit.” -Stephen M.R. Covey

When working in a corporate setting

I have worked for many years in various corporate settings – from being an “ordinary” employee, to being a department manager and leader of a large group and to my current position as a Senior Project Manager on IT and Business projects. Each of these roles of leadership meant something new.

As an “ordinary” employee, I was the leader of my own work. I learned time management of my own time. Some of you may think that it is tough when a manager is telling you what to do, but what if you yourself are the slave driver!! This is comparable to you as an ordinary Toastmasters member who also must take responsibility and needs encouragement to reach the next level of growth and awards.

As a Department manager, then I saw the people who were motivated by what they were doing, and those who were not motivated. As I see it now, all motivation is “self-motivation” and it was my work to ensure that we could find the things that would keep all the employees motivated in some way. This is perhaps like you as an Area Director, where you can see the clubs that are motivated to reach DCP and others that simply do not care.

As a Senior Project Manager now, I am caught between what my Management Team wants me to deliver, and what my team members say they can deliver. That is another dilemma. This is perhaps like the Division Director role – caught between the Area director and the District Leadership Team.

In each role at work, and in each level at Toastmasters, I take the time to reflect what lessons I have learned, and there are so many. They have made me a better person and a better leader – and they were so worth doing because of how much I have grown.