This afternoon I received my Toastmasters’ Competent Communication and Competent Leadership manuals from the Headquarters in the USA. If I joined Toastmasters thinking that I will learn public speaking only, the Welcome Letter from Mr.Daniel Rex, the Chief Executive Officer of Toastmasters International promises that I will develop leadership skills as well. To share the first paragraph of the letter:
Congratulations on your decision to join Toastmasters! You are embarking on an exciting journey toward becoming a stronger speaker and leader. As you attend club meetings and work through Toastmasters’ education program, you will develop confidence in your ability to communicate and lead in any situation. With careful preparation and consistent participation, you will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you grow. Best of all, your club will support you every step of the way, as will our global network of more than 313,000 fellow members who share your passion for excellence.”
From this letter, I deduct that 4 elements are critical for fast growth, and they are the followings:
- Careful preparation
- Consistent participation
- Support from my club
- Support from the global network.
To assess where I stand today in terms of these 4 criteria, ever since I started the club, I have been consistent in attendance. But as I didn’t have the manuals yet (meaning didn’t know the rules of the game), the preparation I put into the club meetings was very limited.
And until tonight when I had a chance to speak to our club President Moritz at the after-contest get-together, I didn’t know that the club leaders were there to support us. As a highlight, Moritz said that at Toastmasters he learnt to really lead people, while what he thought leadership was before, was nothing more than imposing position-power. So from now on I am going to open my eyes to the leadership aspect of the journey and curious to see what my and fellow Toastmasters’ potential for growth in that area could be.
Lastly, based on my experience of visit to the Esprit de Corps Toastmasters Frankfurt club last Monday, I seem to be really welcome by other clubs and Toastmasters. So I am thinking of continuing my visits to the other clubs around Germany and see what I can learn from the diversity of individual clubs.