When I discovered Toastmasters, I could barely wait to join. I thought that not only I could train in improving by presentation, but also my interpersonal communication as well as improv skills.
2 years after joining the club,I was invited to be the President. It’s important to note that I am not one to run from challenges and so I took the challenge of being the President of my local Toastmasters Club, Lisbon Toastmasters.
In the beginning, I must admit, I was afraid. How could I, the youngest member of the club be the President? How was I supposed to “lead”?
And so during the summer I occupied myself of reading books on Leadership. I discovered that, like speaking, Leadership is something we learn by doing.
After one year, I learned that “the leader” is important, but the team is truly everything. The team is the machine, each one being a crucial piece of it. The leader is not in the machine, the leader is the person that has the grease. The leader job is to take care of the team, if need be. The machine can run on its own, but the leader is there to make sure they all work together.
“A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.” ― James P. Carse, Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility
In a organization such as Toastmasters our main goal is to develop our skills, the club is a mean that members to improve. Toastmasters is truly here for the Infinite Game.
As an international non-profit organization everyone that “works” as an officer is taking out of his/her own time. It is exactly because we don’t have a wage that running a non-profit is hard and people dependent. As so, I started looking for the true success in Leadership as the success of the person that comes next, the person that continues to play.
As President I had a great experience this year. I accepted all the challenges I could get to simply gain experience and improve.
During this year my main concern was how I deal with difficult situations, how to be assertive in my communication. Although I am not in a point of my life where I am comfortable having those types of conversations this year I was in a position where I had to have them.
Miguel & Lerio
P.S: Stay tuned for next Monday’s Quote!