Toastmasters District 42 has a new award. It recognizes the one-year journey of an Area Director. The DARE award augments the traditional scoreboard performance approach. DARE considers the four elements which yield success as a director. Developing a leadership style reinforces the ‘where leaders are made’ Toastmasters International hashtag. Achieving tasks reinforces the district mission of supporting the clubs. Relating to the executive and members reinforces that areas work as a team. Encouraging clubs to be recognized reinforces the concept of quality clubs. DARE recognizes that an area director becomes a leader and that effort makes the difference
DARE is About Becoming
An area director experiences change during their term. It is a one-year journey. The role begins with encountering executive members from diverse clubs (strangers) and ends with the group forming a team. The journey from stranger to team reflects ‘becoming’ a leader rather than a static ‘am a leader’ Just as in any journey there is something new around the bend or over the horizon there is something to learn about oneself by being a director. DARE asks participants to describe their leadership style and their Toastmaster knowledge at the beginning and then at the end of their term. The comparison indicates the change, the journey. The award recognizes the change.
Effort makes a difference
When an area has clubs with diverse member cultures, different meeting times and / or different membership strength, it takes effort to bring the clubs executives together to work as a team. It takes effort to prepare for club visits and to speak knowledgeably to club executives, It takes effort to organize area events (contests and training) so that the participant have a memorable experience. For some directors, the journey is along a smooth highway, for others it is a winding road with unexpected detours and for others it is finding a trail through a forest. The effort makes a difference to the area members. The DARE award strives to recognize the director for their journey.
DARE foundation is Toastmaster Value and Program
Developing leadership style respects the diversity of those who accept the challenge. The four levels of the award reflect the different journeys. Recognizing achievements based upon individual self assessment promotes the value of integrity. The use of ratings from the Pathway program connects the award to the education program. Relating to clubs establishes the director role as serving the clubs and members. Asking the clubs to provide feedback about the relationship is consistent with peer evaluation. Encouraging quality in clubs attains the value of excellence. Club quality is found in the variables of the distinguished club and area programs. DARE not only reinforces organization values but also the education goals. DARE is an award worth receiving.