At last Thursday’s meeting Michael Said gave a speech titled “Where Leaders are made”. I have to agree on what he has said. Toastmasters can be a very good learning ground for leadership.
At the beginning of 2011 I took on organising the Phillip Division International Speech contest as my High Performance Leadership (HPL) project. Even 12 months prior to this I had no aspirations of going for my Distinguished Toast Masters award (DTM). Let alone do a HPL. However the opportunity was sort of thrown my way so I decided to take it. What a learning curve it was. There was lots of guidance involved, arguing, and disagreements to the point where I almost ‘threw in the towel’. However I made it to the end. I am glad I stuck to it as I certainly learned a lot and came out of it a much better person. A DTM award is now something that I can see happening.
There has been a very big positive which came out of that experience. As most of you know Michael Said and I were married last year in December. This was by no means a small wedding with a total of 235 guests present. As you can imagine, a wedding of this proportion needed to be well organised.
The training I received during my HPL came in very handy. While I had a vested interest in the Wedding going smoothly I was not afraid to delegate. This was a skill I learnt during my HPL.
There was also planning to the smallest detail. We had a run sheet done as a joint venture with my soon to be husband and I, which was extremely detailed. My daughter thought we were being a tad overdone with the run sheet but I can assure you that the day came together extremely well with only a few minor hitches which went un-noticed. It meant that on the day we didn’t need to think about anything.
What lessons had I learned?
- Planning is vital to the smallest detail
- Don’t be afraid to delegate
- Take on advice from people who have been there and done that
- Think of anything which may or may not go wrong and plan for it
- Above all………..don’t forget to have fun.
My advice to everyone from the newest member to those who have been around for awhile. If you have the opportunity to take on a leadership role, don’t think about whether you can or can’t do it.Have a go. One thing about Toastmasters is that people are always willing to help you. Sometimes all you need to do……………………..is ask!!!
“Toastmasters………….where leaders are made!”
LINDA SAID (FORMERLY LINDA CLARK)