Sunday, November 30, 2008

With position, comes power and responsibilities and possibilities.

Photo: Gavel - the symbol of leadership

The second round of Club Officer training is just around the corner.

Every year in Toastmasters International, we elect a new set of club officers who are thrown into the deep end to learn to run the club and overnight enhance their leadership, communication and service skills. The Club Officer manuals and the Club Officer training and guidance of senior club members are the life jackets thrown in.

During the first round of Club Officer training and Club Installation, every enthusiastic club will zealously commit to achieve President's Distinguished Club or 10 DCP goals early without any qualms.

And now five months down the road, reality has set in. The busy schedule, the last minute projects pulled out, the unexpected resignations due to job changes.

Yet it is amazing to read that there is one Club in District 51 that has already achieved 9 DCP goals! So everything is still possible and it is time to pull up the socks.

It has been said that achieving 1 DCP goal from the Club Officer Training is the easiest. Yet, it is a measurement of leadership and the commitment of the club officers to get 4 of the 7 to attend two trainings per year. Club Presidents can always give free rides and overflowing recognitions to encourage officers to attend.

Unfortunately, sometimes even Club Presidents do not attend. Here is when the VPEs can become the heroes and heroines.

In the good old days, Area Governors would even visit the "weakest clubs" who did not send a single officer to attend. Did a quick briefing to give these clubs one DCP goal and to give their club officers their requirement to acheive the Competent Leadership award.

Even at some Club Officer training that I have attended, some club officers would show up to only sign their names and then to leave immediately or during the break, just to make the minimum number of 4 officers attending. That is not right and should not be condoned. If you can do that, others will start doing it too.

There was an email from Toastmasters International a long time ago that gave reasons why it would appreciate the benefit but would not give DCP credit to a video conference training given to a club which was 200 miles away by the District Officer because it was not a face-to-face training.

Since it was too expensive for the Club officers to fly to attend an organized training by that District, the Club had no choice but to accept the rule of credit giving but knew technically it was still possible for their club to achieve the other 9 DCP goals for President's Distinguished Award.

There is a range of diverse and opposing needs at any club officer training. The new club officer often complained that not enough basic training is given to help them play their role well.

The senior member who had attended many training before would complain that it was the same old thing and prefered some more esoteric exciting albeit non-Toastmasters leadership mini-workshops.

Yet there are plenty of opportunity for learning new things and sharing when senior and new club officers meet on an areas of common interest during any Club Officer training..

My opinion is that Club Officer training is the only and best time to focus soley on the responsibilities, challenges and sharing of best practices of the Club Officers. Other workshops can be held at other times.

If you are a Club Offcier, whatever your reasons to attend or not to attend, remember that you were elected, installed and have pledged to serve your club as a club officer to the best of your ability.

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