It Was My Turn
by Laurel Wingert
As I walked away from the emergency state of the club meeting for Communicator Club, I wasn’t surprised that the few remaining members decided to dissolve the club. The club had just celebrated it’s 45th anniversary. Now it was gone. This took me back to June 2018, when I attended another Club’s final meeting. This was just before my term as Division B director had begun. I had come full circle on my Division Director journey.
Being an Area or Division Director was not something I ever wanted to do. However, I put my name forward to be a Division Director. I already had my DTM so I didn’t need the credit. So why did I do it? Well, to give back! I had received so much from my Division B Toastmaster family, that I wanted to take my turn to help the Division succeed.
I was so full of ideas, plans and energy. I was going to save all the clubs in jeopardy. I was going to build new clubs and get everyone excited about Pathways.
Then life happened . . . Before I even began my term as Division B, I lost a club. Then I took a hard look at the status of the clubs in Division B and realized we were in trouble. No worries; I have coaches assigned. I encouraged members to attend Club Leadership and Educational Development (CLED). I learned how to publicize through Facebook, email and word-of-mouth. I was blessed with five amazing Area Directors who worked their tails off to encourage their clubs to succeed. We had a lead on a new club through The Regina Open Door Society. We already had a strong partnership with them, through the Youth Leadership Program (YLP). So this should be a piece of cake.
And yet here I was down two clubs at the end of my term and no new clubs chartered. That piece of cake wasn’t so easy after all. We still had clubs in trouble, and Pathways wasn’t fully adopted yet. Had I failed?
As I reflected on my year, I decided to take the positive approach.
This year I visited most of Division B Clubs and was able to meet most of the Division B members. What amazing people we have here in Southern Saskatchewan. I still want to go to Swift Current one of these days.
I even built partnerships with many southern Alberta members. Wow, who knew? This role enabled me to get to know so many people. I don’t even want to think about how many speaking opportunities I have had. I learned so much more on parliamentary procedures. (Have I mentioned I like parliamentary procedures?)
I had the best team of Area Directors I could have wished for. I had a first-row seat to see five people grow and become effective leaders in their own right.
I was able to give leadership opportunities to so many people and I witnessed these people grow. I also get to celebrate in their success of achieving their goals.
I am so proud of Division B this year. Our educational goals increased by 61% from last year. We have 5 DTM’s registered. Our Pathways adoption rate is 77%. 33% of our members are new members. And 80% of our Club leaders attended training.
Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development, with over 352,000 members in 16,400 clubs in 141 countries. The world needs leaders. Leaders head families, coach teams, run businesses and mentor others. These leaders must not only accomplish, they must communicate. By regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback, leading teams and guiding others to achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere, leaders emerge from the Toastmasters program