Being the captain of a ship, a leader, is not easy. We all have made our fair share of mistakes. I am sure that we have learned quite a bit both, from our successes and failures. Today I would like to share 5 ways of leading your ship in your Toastmaster life.

Captain a Vision

As the captain of your ship, it is a requisite that you have a vision. After all, you are that one that will lead yourself through potentially uncharted waters.  Once you create the vision for yourself, write it down and reflect on it.  By the way, this is about you, so make the vision as big as you can.  By having that vision and reflecting on it on a regular basis you will have a map, so to speak, of where you will be headed in your Toastmaster journey.    

Captain with Purpose

We can all have a vision, which is great, however, you must define your “why”, as Simon Sinek says. It is our “why”, the purpose for why you want to achieve your vision that is extremely important.  The ‘why’ has to be very powerful as it will propel you to execute on your vision, even in the most challenging times that you face.  Take your time when developing your ‘why’?

Captain Your Choices

While on your journey you may encounter some turbulence along the way. Then, you will need to weigh the various alternatives, the choices, on how you will navigate the turbulent waters.  As you are executing on your vision, whether it’s doing your very first speech, or going after your second DTM, it is important that surround yourself with coaches and mentors that can provide you with insights so you can make the best decisions along the way.


As the captain, the last thing we need is to get into a state of analysis/paralysis, that is, a state of inaction. Mitigating risk is important, as you always want to do your very best when presenting your speech or having a role within your Toastmaster club, Area, or District level.  However, given the journey that you charted to achieve your vision, nothing will ever be done until you leave the shore. When it comes time to act, act!


Based on your actions, you will reach a certain destination, and corresponding result. If it is not what you expected, simply re-adjust your course. If you have achieved your destination, celebrate it, and then move on to the next phase of your journey. 

Being the captain of a ship is not easy at all. Remember this:

  • Have a big vision for yourself
  • Understand your purpose, your “why”
  • Evaluate the various choices that you have in front of you, and 
  • Take action.
  • Thus your results, your destination, will reveal who you truly are as a leader.

Above all, as the captain of your Toastmaster ship, the leader, realize that we are all a work in progress, so make sure to enjoy every aspect of your journey.  Embrace and enjoy your journey my captain!

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