Fellow District 26 Toastmasters, if I were to survey a sample of you and inquire of your reasons for joining Toastmasters, intuitively, I would say that most of you joined Toastmasters to work on your communication skills. I would venture to say that many of you did not join Toastmasters to specifically work on your leadership skills. Taking this a step further, many might say they were unaware of the leadership component when first joining Toastmasters, even though our current tagline reads, “Where Leaders Are Made.”
I think of leadership as the hidden jewel of Toastmasters. As you gain public speaking confidence, this coincides with the ability to motivate and influence others, which is exactly what leadership is and what Toastmasters helps develop. Now is the time to track and/or develop your leadership path for the next year. Many leadership roles exist within the club and beyond the club level. For the sake of this article, we will only discuss two district roles: area and division director.
The area director is the most exciting role in that the person serves as the liaison between club and the district. This role gives the area director the opportunity visit clubs beyond his/her own club and consistently provide guidance to clubs.
The division director role is a person who oversees the work and supports the area directors. The division director sets division goals, plans division activities, ensures that area and club officers are trained, and ensures that each club within the division meets its mission in serving members. The division director consistently communicates with the area directors regarding status of clubs.
If you are interested in serving in leadership in the 2021-2022 program year, please consider serving as an area director or division director. More information about both roles may be found In the District Leadership Handbook.
Jacqueline L. Smith, MPA, DTM
District Director 2020-21, District 26