by David Winkowski Division E Director
When I compare my early days as a Toastmaster with where I am now, I am surprised at the differences. I spent so much of my first years within one club – rarely venturing out. I did help with some of the Area and Division contests. Oh, they did give me a brief glimpse into the world of Toastmasters outside of the club. But by and large, I kept to my home club – barely dipping my toes in the district end of the pool.
Then a dear fellow Toastmaster suggested that I give an Area Directorship a try. I suddenly realized what opportunities the Toastmasters universe had in store for me. Just by getting out there and seeing how other clubs hold meetings, encouraged my growth in very diverse ways – making it fun in the process. As luck would have it, it was the very first year of the Nemileta Networking Nine incentive. As a result, I was stretched further and exposed to more and more of the talented and dedicated members of District 25.
Throughout the exploration, I found that practical hands-on experience works best for me. Rolling up my sleeves, digging in, and getting elbow-deep in it. Doing it is how I learn best. A baseball player may learn about techniques for hitting a curve ball by reading a book, or by watching someone else – but he can’t master the art unless he gets in there, faces the pitcher, and swings the bat.
That is what I have gained and will continue to gain from a continued role in District Leadership. It is from stacking all of the successes, and all of the failures, one on top of the other, that I will grow. I am fortunate that I have an organization full of wonderful and dedicated people that offer the support and the grace to help me achieve more.
This is my challenge to you. Take advantage of the opportunities that you can find inside and outside of your clubs. Take a Nemileta Networking Nine tour around the District – maybe combine it with the new 5-For-5 Evaluations incentive. Take advantage of these, not for the pins and ribbons they bring, but for the opportunities to gather more experiences, more knowledge. Collect them. Stack them. Build something glorious.