Division News - September 2014

Toastmasters is...

A great place to meet people Internationally.
A great place to learn. 
All that and more!
As Division L governor, I have the honour of covering a large area from Burlington to Brantford, south east  to Welland and Niagara Falls, covering 25 clubs and just shy of 5,000 sq. km.  For such a large part of Ontario, one could still drive around to any club at one end to the another club at the other end in about 1 hour (pending traffic of course).  I had the honour of visiting Garden City Toastmasters last week in St. Catharines. The club was having a special meeting to honour recent Speechcraft graduates, members whom had achieved a CC and reaching 6 speeches. It was a time to honour their accomplishments, and with any Toastmaster meeting, always a great place to meet people.  You already knew that part.  At your meetings, you see people from all walks of life coming together learning to develop their skillsets. 
As a Toastmaster, did you know you are welcome at just about any Toastmasters club in the world?  And it is very much an international organization, with huge growth of new clubs in India and China.  At Garden City, Mr. Allen Page, a former St. Catharines citizen, was visiting the city where he grew up, with his wife.  They are in Canada for a couple of weeks, visiting from China.  Mr. Page, ACB,ALB and Area P4 Governor, realizes the importance and opportunity of visiting other clubs – anywhere in the world.  Just about every club does things differently.  Mr. Page had a page of ideas he gleaned from visiting the club to take page to his Area clubs.  Visiting another club, regardless of where in the world it is, can be a great learning opportunity.

Not only can the visitor learn something new, but the members can learn something from their guests.  Why else do we ask our guests if they have any comments or observations before we wrap up a meeting? It is a great place to learn and improve.
Mr. Page covers 3 clubs in one area, fairly close together, but as soon as you leave that area and move to the Division level, things start to explode!  Just taking a look at one club from one area to another area, the vastness of China comes to light.   To visit a club in Division A from his Division P would take a flight of over an hour … or you can drive for about 12+ hours!!  That’s in the same Division!  I can get to any club in any area in Division L by car in about 1 hour.  Mr. Page and others like him travel for hours, literally days to visit fellow clubs.  That is dedication for you!  Hate to see their mileage counts.
We may not be able to visit clubs in China, an opportunity to go to the International Conference in Malaysia, or even clubs outside our Division.  You do have an opportunity to visit clubs in your area and your division.  You can meet new people, learn something that could help your club AND you can bring a Passport to show your own growth.

Toastmasters is…..   so much more than you may have originally thought.  Step outside your club, open up your world and your horizons.  You could be surprised by what you may find.
John Constant, ALB, ACB
Division L Governor

Triple Crown Pin to Extraordinary Toastmasters in Division A

Division A gives the Triple Crown Pin to those extraordinary Toastmasters who earn 3 educational awards in a single program year.So far in 2014-15 these high achievers are:

  • Karim Premji of Fluid Communicators and Leaders and Nielsen Insightful Club, for his ALB, ALS, ACS & DTM.
  • Karen Walters of Golden Gavel Club, for her CL, ACB & ALB.

Please join me in congratulating both Karim and Karen for these splendid accomplishments.

Gerry Fryer, ACG, ALB Division A Governor  

Division Governor Conference Recruitment Challenge

The Fall Conference is just 2 months away.  Registrations are going well but .. We can do more. So, I am dropping the gauntlet. I challenge my fellow Divisional governors, who can sign up an additional 20 members for the conference first? And I don't mean just for contests, I mean at least Option 1, Option 2 or for the full Conference. 20 members in LESS THAN 60 days.

Which Division will reign supreme for this challenge?  Who will come first. Can we ride the Division L Train to Success? What say thee my fellow governors?  Care to take up this worthy challenge?

John Constant, Division L Governor, District 86

Division News - August 2014

Leadership for Major Division A Events

I am pleased to tell you that the following Toastmasters have stepped up to leadership to run these Division A projects:

  • Sandra Li, CC, ALB will lead the Division’s Phase 2 Leadership Training for club officers on January 21st, 2015. Sandra is this year’s Vice-President Education at Neilsen Toastmasters.
  • Al Parsai, ACG, ALB will lead the Division’s Humorous & Table Topics Speech Contest taking place on October 16th, 2014. Al is the Area 26 Governor.
  • Muzaffar Matloob, CC, ALB, will lead the Division’s International Speech & Evaluation Contest to be held March 26th, 2015. Muzaffar is the Past President of Woodbridge Toastmasters.

Each of these projects needs your support in order to succeed. If you would like to step up and help Sandra, Al or Muzaffar achieve their objectives, please contact me at divagovernor@toastmasters86.org.

I am still seeking a leader for one final major project: Phase 1 Training for the 2015-2016 Division A club officers in June 2015.

If you are interested in this as your HPL project, please contact me.

Gerry Fryer, ACS, ALB, Division A Governor

You Are A Leader!

Division A Governor Gerry Fryer  - speech to 2014-15 Club Officers at Division A Officer Training - 06/26/14

On behalf of Division A and the more than 800,000 people in Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Markham who can benefit from what you do, thank you for being here. Today you have become leaders!

You may not yet realize the potential you now have as a club officer and leader. That’s what I’m going to talk about this evening.  All of you have my respect for stepping up to leadership. Give yourself a big hand for that! By the end of this training evening you will be on your way to giving back to the members of your clubs – that’s why they elected you, to serve them!

Our club mission statements include these words: “members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth”.

My fellow leaders, what you have signed up for this year is -- an exchange program. You have agreed to invest yourself in your club, and in return -- you will become a better person. Tonight that process begins.

How does a person become a leader? Long ago, it was a royal birthright. Or the leader may have been the strongest one – that’s the case in animal societies, after all. Money once dictated who got to the top, but even that circumstance is fading away.  In a society based on merit like ours, who emerges? Is it the child who takes the lead with others at home or in kindergarten? Is it the smartest one in the room? Or is it the quiet person who pays attention to what goes on around them, learns from experience, and gradually develops an understanding of what motivates people and what really works?

I first became a leader at the ripe age of 51. Earlier in life I believed I was the smartest guy in the room – until the room got a lot bigger, at university. It took a long time to polish my softer skills. I was an introvert and I had to learn how to relate to people. Along the way I became fascinated by the characteristics of good and bad leaders – in politics and in the workplace. I watched them and I read about them. I acquired mentors, formal and informal. Through this process, when my leadership opportunity finally arrived, I was ready to succeed.

My leadership guru, the great Warren Bennis, says that the most important ingredient for a great leader is Trust. Here are 3 principles under that umbrella:

  • Leaders are Authentic – they are the same as leaders as they are in the rest of their lives.
  • They are Reliable – they support their co-workers, or the people in their club, when it matters.
  • They have Integrity – leaders honour their commitments and promises.

I recommend Mr. Bennis’ book “On Becoming a Leader” to you, as you develop into a more effective leader in the safe Toastmasters space.

But wait – you thought you were coming to a training session and tonight’s program is headed ‘Generating Club Excellence (by Training Committed Club Officers).’ Is this a trick? Not really. Our ultimate goal is having excellent clubs in Division A; you are the catalysts for achieving that excellence; and tonight’s training will help you become a catalyst in your club.

What will you come away with after tonight? Your training will be relevant to your specific role in your club. You will learn how. 

  • To lead by example
  • To serve the members of your club
  • To help to plan and then drive the success of your club throughout the year, and
  • To make your life easier as a club officer by using Toastmasters resources efficiently.

John Quincy Adams said: If your actions inspire others to dream more…learn more…and become more, then you are a leader.

I urge you…

Toastmasters International Values:  Integrity • Respect • Service • Excellence
Our Principles:   Lead By Example • Work / Play as a Team

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