In a recent Toastmaster magazine article, Immediate Past International President Pat Johnson is quoted as saying that we take on roles in Toastmasters not because we can do them, but because we can learn to do them.
We join Toastmasters to challenge ourselves and the basic Toastmasters meeting provides some opportunity. However, before long we get into the routine of it. Most of it is already laid out. Only speeches force us to figure out what we will do. It is easy to slip back into the comfort zone as a normal member.
There is a new challenge in becoming an officer. I admit I was hesitant because I wondered if I had the time or interest. I was surprised with how rewarding it could be. Yes, it does take some time, but less than you think, and the more thought you put into it, the more rewarding it becomes.
There are some basic responsibilities for each officer that absolutely should be achieved for the success of the club. How those are met, is open to us. I see this as an opportunity to be creative and evaluate what was done before and what I can do to improve on it, before I pass it on to the next person who can be inspired to further develop the role.
This is a limited-time leadership opportunity: only 6 months or a year, depending on the club, and so, it is not a long commitment, just enough time to push myself and develop.
Being an officer is a wonderful leadership opportunity, a chance to re-energize the club and to inspire the club members to become more involved.
As an officer I received free training from the district and there I met officers from other clubs. This was the first time I realized that there really is a “world” beyond the confines of my own club. I realized as I networked that each club has its own culture, own protocols, and own challenges. I have offered up some solutions that work in my club, so helping other clubs. I have also been thrilled to get ideas and solutions to carry back to my own club.
And best yet, I knew I was giving back to the club which has helped me develop to this point.
I have enjoyed becoming a “serial” officer serving multiple terms in multiple roles and was honored when my club nominated me as Outstanding Officer, for which I have been awarded both on Area and Division level.
Challenge yourself to be an outstanding officer!
By Jodie Sanders