“Servant leadership” is a concept that was introduced to me by Bonne Stroman, one of my mentors. In many of my past career positions I considered myself a good manager, but not a leader. I thought a leader was all about power. My definition of leadership changed when I joined Toastmasters.
Bonne taught me that the true “servant leader” is always focused on the growth and well-being of those around him. I feel this is exactly what the thirty plus members of the conference committee exemplified. They focused on putting on the best conference possible – one that would enrich the well-being of the members that attended the conference. I kept stressing to the committee that we were doing all this planning and hard work for the members.
Examples of true “servant leadership” abounded throughout the weekend. Jim Key, the 2003 World Champion of Public Speaking, gave a very inspiring keynote speech Saturday morning. Susan Gardner, another one of my mentors, calls the speech, his “Napkin Speech”.
During the keynote Jim highlighted different aspects of the “mantra of leadership” and how leadership is misused by many. In Jim’s words, the true mantra of servant leadership is “How can I be of service to you?”
|John Bergs, Dean Lampman, Greg Pick, and Chuck Mencke|
I felt this is exactly what the conference committee did, they served! Countless hours were devoted to the planning and execution of the conference.
|Duane Fontenot, Deb Sanford, Wendy Alston, and Alex Conrad|
Everything was planned down to the last little detail, down to the minute! The committee came through with flying colors for the members of District 25. By Saturday evening, were we all “drained”? Of course!
|Jodie Sanders and Cindy Hinckley|
But we all had smiles on our faces knowing we had done the best we could possibly do for the members of District 25.
If you’re not currently embracing the mantra of servant leadership, consider serving in whatever capacity you’re able. You’ll receive benefits ten-fold over your efforts.
|Chuck Mencke and Marylee Mims|
2013 Fall Conference Chair