#MyWhy by Stephanie Lee, Immediate Past District Director
Who me serve as a leader? That was my first thought when a club officer asked me to step up into a club leadership position. I also felt the same way when I was asked to step up into district leadership. When I first joined Toastmasters, I didn’t see myself as a speaker much less as a leader. I was comfortable speaking with someone one-on-one, but I was petrified introducing myself in a group. I was comfortable supporting others behind the scenes, but not stepping out into the limelight.
I joined Toastmasters due to my manager’s strong encouragement. I only planned on staying in Toastmasters for a year at the most. That was 14 years ago. Since then I’ve served in most club officer and district leadership positions, including District Director. Why? Serving as a leader is how I’ve gained the most growth and self-confidence. While giving speeches was nerve wrecking at first, I gradually learned to control my nervousness during a 5-7 minute presentation in front of my club. Serving as a leader took me to the next level. Being a leader required speaking in groups more frequently, which nudged me well out of my comfort zone, gained confidence in my own decision-making skills, and became comfortable speaking in a group outside of the club environment.
Why do I continue to step up into leadership roles? There are leadership opportunities to experience and learn from well beyond the club level. I learn something new every time I serve in a leadership role, even if it was a role I have served in the past or didn’t feel like I did so well the initial time.
If you are being tapped on the shoulder to serve as a leader, take the step up into leadership. If you don’t see yourself as a leader, someone sees you as a leader. Are you thinking about serving as a leader but not sure you have the skills? I highly encourage you to reach out and volunteer. We learn by doing and by asking questions. There is training available. Also, members who have served in leadership roles would be happy to mentor you and provide you with the support you need to be the leader you want to be.
If you are interested in nominating yourself or someone else for any of these positions, please complete the NOMINATION FORM by January 31, 2023. The committee will interview candidates starting in February and elections will be held during the spring District Council Meeting.
Please contact Immediate Past District Director, Stephanie Lee [firstname.lastname@example.org] with questions or to participate in the District Leadership Committee.