By Robi Ley, DTM, District Director
Standing atop the Tower of the Americas, looking across the nightscape of San Antonio, gives you a chance to see things from a different perspective. Your trio attends training twice a year, just as club officers do, and that was our view our last night of mid-year training. What does that have to do with what we learned in training? A lot, I think.
Over the past 18 months, Toastmasters International has issued a lot of changes for districts and for members. A new education program. No more fall conference. A virtual business meeting. A different look to fall contests. That’s a lot of change in a short amount of time.
More changes are coming. Video semi-finals for the International speech contest. Short-term changes to the club coaching program. Changes to the Distinguished District criteria.
When standing at the top, whether of a tower, or an organization, sometimes the view gets blurry. You see lights, shadows, colors, but very little is seen clearly. The unique identities get lost in the high-level view. What we heard though, from our International President Lark Doley, is that sometimes you have to come down from the height and look at the ground level view. She assured that those in the high positions are listening to those of us on the ground. It makes a difference.
Your trio feels the same way. We have a bird’s eye view of what’s happening in the district. We don’t always see what’s happening in individual clubs, or with individual members. While we were part of those changes you went through, we didn’t see it from your perspective.
Leadership is about helping people understand how they can succeed in the middle of changes and upheaval. It’s about listening and addressing concerns wherever possible. Let us know if we’re hearing you. Our names, pictures, and emails are easily found on the district website. This is for a reason. We want you to be able to contact us. We want to hear from you as individuals. We may not be able to fix every problem. We may not have an answer to every question. But we want to hear from you anyway.
The view from the top is breathtaking, but the view on the ground is the one that matters.