Sunday, October 26, 2008

Year 2008 - Year of Election

In 2008, we have seen many dramatic elections in Malaysia, around the world and soon on November 4 in USA.

In Toastmasters, we enjoy annual elections at Club, Area, Division, District and International level.

Here is a report of a successful election campaign last August at Toastmasters International Convention in Calgary, Canada.

1) Poh Kim Siong (Chua Chu Kang Toastmasters, Singapore) won the election to be our International Director for Districts outside North America, 2008-2010.

2) His campaign manager was Past District 80 Governor Gea Ban Peng (Braddel Heights Advanced, Singapore) who had written this article below to share.

3) I first met Poh Kim Siong at Toastmasters International Palm Desert Convention 1998 when we were convention delegate hotel room-mates.

Gea Ban Peng was Division S Governor (Singapore) in 1997-98 when I was District 51 Governor. When it comes to good stuff, everyone is related.

Kim Siong & Ban Peng

On Friday 15th August 2008 in Calgary, Canada at the 77th Annual Convention of Toastmasters International - Poh Kim Siong, DTM became the first member in District 80 to be elected to the Board of Directors of Toastmasters International. I was his election campaign manager.

We faced many challenges. We surmounted them. We enjoyed every minute of it. Many thoughts filled my mind. Below are four, not in any order, they just happened to pop up and I want to get this piece written quickly so that I can get back to work!

Begin with the end in mind.
7 Habits of Highly Successful People – Steven CoveyThe mathematics for success was easy. All we needed was 50% of the votes plus one more vote. That would give us a simply majority, a seat on the board, and a simply amazing feeling of confidence that we can do it. It gave us the courage to conquer.

Your daily life is your temple and your religion.
The Prophet by Kahlil GibranAll Kim Siong had to do was to be himself. He possess all the 4 qualities the voting delegates were looking for (1) a caring person - they could feel he truly cared for them – he was there for them, (2) a trustworthy person – they know the can trust Kim Siong to honor his commitment, (3) a humble man – they could see he was not arrogant - he would listen, and (4) a competent leader – his leadership track record was impeccable.

The journey is the mission – Journey to the West – Chinese Legend
The whole purpose of the journey to Calgary was to do things we have never done before, to experience, to learn, and to share. The learning, the growing, and the friends we make during the 4 days of intense work on the campaign trail was simply amazing. We were determined to enjoy the journey. And enjoy we did – especially Goh Wei Koon, Neil Sy, Aziz Mustajab, Arthur Ting, Desiree, Julia, Kim Siong, and I.

Happiness cannot be pursued. It must ensue.
Men’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued. It is the happy by-product of one dedicating oneself to a cause greater to oneself. In this case, Kim Siong selflessly dedicated himself to bring the benefits of Toastmasters to more people. That is a good cause. He cannot help but succeed.

Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But, perhaps, it is the end of the beginning. – Sir Winston Churchill Speech in November 1942
Winning the election did not bring us to the end of the journey. It is, in fact, the end of the beginning of the journey. There is so much to be done. Let us give our newly elected International Director, Poh Kim Siong DTM, a ready hand to help bring more benefits of the Toastmasters training program to a greater number of people.

Sincerely, Gea Ban Peng DTM
District 80 Governor 2004-2005
Presidential Citation 2006-2007

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