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22. A New Series: My Personal Journey in Public Speaking: 9. Self improvement as a Leader

While my journey into the Advanced Communication Manual goes on, I decided to also look at achieving my Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB), and Silver (ALS) concurrently.

Firstly, to achieve ALB, I had to accomplish the following:

  1. Achieved new Competent Leader award

  2. Achieved Competent Communicator award (or Competent Toastmaster award)

  3. Served at least six months as a club officer (president, vice president education, vice president membership, vice president public relations, secretary, treasurer or sergeant at arms) and participated in the preparation of a Club Success Plan while serving in this office

  4. While serving in the above office, participated in a district-sponsored club officer training program

  5. Conducted any two presentations from The Successful Club Series and/or The Leadership Excellence Series.

Of course, by this time I had already completed the CC and CL awards.

Also, during the first year of my membership I was elected to be club VP Membership (VPM), so fulfilling the Club Officer requirement and attending a Club Officer Training (COT) was naturally part of the journey.

I then used the opportunity to share another two presentations from the Successful Club series to my club members. As VPM, I naturally chose the unit, "Finding New Members" as a way to encourage my club members to continue sharing the benefits of the club to our fellow colleagues (since we were an in-house club).

In my second year as a member I was elected President of my club. I then shared the unit entitled, "How to be a Distinguished Club" to motivate and educate my club's newer members on how to systematically use the Toastmasters program to benefit the members' skills and benefit the club at the same time.

As I continued on in my journey, I started to look at the requirements for ALS. After completing my tenure as Club President and then the following year as Immediate Past President (IPP), I was asked if I was interested to go on to the next level.

I was glad and happy to join my fellow Division W members in forming a part of the Division W Council when I was elected as Area Governor for Area W5, given 4 clubs to oversee.

The requirements for ALS were:

  1. Achieved Advanced Leader Bronze award (or "old" Competent Leader award)

  2. Served a complete term as a district leader (district director, program quality director, club growth director, public relations manager, administration manager, finance manager, division director or area director). A complete term is defined as having served at least from September 1 through June 30. Those assuming office after September 1 do not qualify as having served a full term

  3. Completed the High Performance Leadership program

  4. Served successfully as a club sponsor, mentor or coach

My 4th year as a member saw myself as Area Governor W5, which helped me meet the first requirement for ALS.

The second requirement to complete the High Performance Leadership project was actually completed earlier, even when I was a Club President. Thanks to a very helpful and resourceful Division Governor, he ran the HPL for a big group of interested members.

By putting us all together in a class, we killed many birds with one stone. We learnt together how we can become better leaders, we met together as Guidance Committee members for each other, and we continually encouraged one another in our journeys, wherever we may have been at that time.

As Club President, my HPL project was to lead my club in achieving Distinguished status. At the end of my year as President, I not only managed to finish my HPL project in time and successfully, I also managed to bring my club to Select Distinguished level,

The last part of my run towards ALS is mentorship. The story is a bit too long for the rest of this post, so I'll postpone telling the story until my next week's post, so stay tuned.

Points to ponder:

Have you had the chance in your life to "kill 2 birds with 1 stone"?

My journey in Toastmasters thus far have been according to that saying very often. Very satisfying when I can accomplish multiple goals by doing a series of planned actions.

Do you have instances in life where you get to do that?

Look for them… very fulfilling!

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