Trust—A Key Ingredient of Leadership

Message from the D42 Program Quality Director Bev LeBlanc, DTM

Most people who join Toastmasters do so to improve their communication skills. Something wonderful happens in the process. As their communication skills improve, other people start listening to their opinions & ideas. Leadership skills develop as members improve in communicating with others. The Toastmaster tagline of ‘Where Leaders Are Made’ is truly fitting.

When I became Program Quality Director, I said ‘Leadership is not a right, it is a privilege.’ I believe this implicitly. A right is something we are given automatically; a privilege is earned. We don’t have a right to lead—we must earn the ‘badge’ of leadership by our actions. Toastmaster core values state ‘Respect, Integrity, Service, & Excellence.’ When these values are followed, a leader earns the trust of others. Perhaps the most important aspect of leadership is the trust our members place in us. It is humbling, not to be taken for granted.

A fellow Toastmaster & good friend of mine, Ron MacTavish from Dynamically Speaking (many of you know him) has my absolute trust. Why? His actions speak louder than words. Everything he asks of others, he himself does. He seeks to improve the Toastmaster environment, not only with his home club but throughout District 42 & beyond. He wants to see others grow their skills & stretch for opportunities. He truly leads by example.

I don’t believe Ron set out to be a leader in Toastmasters. He doesn’t seek glory or fame, although he does smile at his descriptive title ‘Lavish MacTavish.’ He doesn’t do it for the power, although the power of his ideas is renowned. He doesn’t do it for the money, there is none. Ron leads because he has earned the trust & respect of others through his words, actions, & commitment.  

There are countless others like Ron who have earned their leadership roles. I want to be like Ron. I want to be like those others who don’t lead because of money, fame, or glory. I believe if you think about it, you do as well.

You will hear from many leaders (including me) a variety of reasons for taking the step into leadership. You’ll build a variety of skills, you’ll see others grow & develop, you’ll become a role model. Your club members look up to you when you act with respect & integrity when you provide service with excellence. They place their trust in you.

D42 Program Quality Director
Bev LeBlanc, DTM

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