Leaders create impact and can form a sphere of influence even when not in a leadership role or a ‘position’. Yet, as we practice and learn leadership skills, taking up a position is the safest bet to accelerate the learning process. That is what I have learned and experienced, at Toastmasters.
Even before I joined as a member at my club, I took up the Sergeant-at-arms responsibility because I thought the role was as straightforward as it was undemanding. It did not take me long to notice that I would be ‘noticed’ most often when something wasn’t right, for example, if the banners weren’t in place or the stock of certificates had exhausted. That was my cue to start learning to plan and organize. It didn’t end here, I would benefit from the stage time as the SAA was supposed to start meetings. I practiced communication. Nine months after joining, I was Vice President and had already begun motivating and mentoring – not because I had the ability to but because it was in my job description! Soon, I was President, I presided over meetings and understood the need to have a vision for the club, and began to strategize. I also learned to collaborate with my team, and delegate responsibilities.
As Area Director, I only practice all that I learned as a Club leader. Once you get the knack of it, proportion, size, and scale matter less. Practice leadership at your club, the same skills will help you in your personal and professional life.
Avish Acharya, Area Director, Area 5, Division A, District 41
Published in Inkspire Issue 2. Click here for the full newsletter.