by Greg Pick
In Toastmasters I have had many mentors who inspired, encouraged, and molded me into a leader. The leadership skills I have developed are a testament to our Toastmasters tag line “Where Leaders Are Made.”
I continue to serve in officer roles in my clubs. Each time I serve in an officer role, I learn new things. The dynamics, priorities and skills of my fellow members change. Semi-annual officer training changes with trainer and participant dynamics. Each officer term may have different challenges. For my first nine years as a Toastmaster, I remained content as a club officer and did not venture into the larger Toastmasters universe outside my club.
While serving as President of Ryan Plaza Toastmasters in 2009, our Area 31 Governor had a huge influence on my journey. She demonstrated through words and actions leadership that informed and inspired. After assisting with the area contest, I decided that I would make time to take the next leadership step.
I was appointed the Area 31 Governor for the 2011–2012 Toastmasters year. As an area governor I learned the challenges faced with delegating and motivating other members. My greatest successes resulted when I asked members face-to-face to “step up” and take a chance. Forming a team is magical. A team can accomplish much more than an individual because of the diversity of people and the additional resources. I also learned to shrug off rejection by recognizing that often people react the way they do because of where they are on their life’s journey, it is not personal to me.
I can identify with the tag line “Where Leaders Are Made” as I benefited from learning leadership skills in the positive and supportive environment of Toastmasters.
In addition to those who generously mentor others, Toastmasters International has vast resources that members can use to grow in their own way and at their own pace. Want to improve leadership skills? Refer to the different presentations in the Leadership Excellence Series. Similar to any learned skill set, the more you investigate and practice, the more results you will achieve.
I challenge each member to “step up,” “step out” and begin your Leadership Journey by experiencing all that Toastmasters has to offer.
Greg Pick, DTM
District Director 2017-2018