DIVISION DIRECTOR CANDIDATES

MPHATSO ANDREW MANDA - DIVISION M

Toastmasters member since: 2016
Education:
  • MSc Project Management (Bolton University)
  • BSc Electrical and Electronic Engineering (University of Malawi)
Toastmasters offices held and terms of service:
  • Area M4 Director 2020/21
  • Lilongwe: President 2019/20, VP Education 2018/19
  • Standard Bank (SBM): Mentor 2019
Toastmasters honours and recognition:
  • Competent Communicator, Competent Leader
  • Pathways L1 and L2
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District leader:
Currently serving as Network Director for Airtel Malawi PLC which is a senior leadership position and roles include providing overall leadership of the Networks Department, aligning Technical Department's targets to achieve overall Company objectives and providing technical expertise to the organisation in regards to new technologies and how the organisation can tap from these new developments.
The above experience is directly applicable to the position of Division Director as I will be required to cascade the overall District Mission, Vision and Objectives to the Area Directors and Clubs inorder to achieve the DCP goals. As a Division Director the role is also to provide overall leadership and support to the Area Directors in all areas that are required to achieve the DCP goals and this is same activity I perform with my team in my career.
One key role in my job is to provide Team Development Programs and Coaching role to ensure that team members are personally advancing in their knowledge and in personal growth. this is also directly relevant in Toastmasters as COTs are critical pieces in ensuring Club Health and being a Division Director I will be required to support the Area Directors to ensure the COTs are done and Leaders + Members have participated and benefited.
 
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
I have over 4 years experience in Strategic Planning from my role as Network Director at Airtel Malawi PLC. I have provided leadership to the team in producing our Networks Annual Operating Plans for the last four years which is always a Strategic Plan for the Department feeding into the overall Organisation Strategy.
I have been a member of the Strategic Planning Team for our Organization since 2010 and have particpated in the process of producing the Annual Operating Plans for the Organization since that time.
 
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
I have attended a course in Finance for Non-Finance Managers ate our Organization which has given me an understanding of Finance Management.
In addition to above, I have experience in Cost Planning and Cost Control with over USD20Mn Operating Cost Management. Plus Capex budget planning and Capex bidget control with over 100mn USD projects and I have done this for over 10 years.
 
What experience do you have in developing procedures?
Prior to my current Network Director Position at Airtel Malawi PLC, I held a post as Head of Network Operations for 3years and Head of Projects for 10 years in which I developed Operating Procedures for the functions.
One of the key procedurea that I developed was on Fiber Deployment Procedure and Maintenance Procedure which is being used by partners managing the Fibre Network Infrastracture.
 
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
My lessons from the last leadership positions of Area Director, President and VP Education were:
  1. Club/Area success is centered on setting clear goals which are measurable and with timeline
  2. The goals must be properly cascaded to the club members for a buy-in and adoption
  3. Setting a culture of helping individual members in making progress in their goals assists in club growth and member development
  4. Setting a very high standard which as a Leader I bide to and challenge the team members to reach the same level of standard as this helps in achieving goals
  5. As a leader I should always be available to serve in whatever capacity or role for purposes of achieving the goals
 
Why do you want to serve as a District leader?
Serving in District leadership is part of my personal growth and it is the same reason I joined Toastmasters. In the years I have served in various roles within Toastmasters, there are several challenges that I have encountered and managed to overcome which in the end enhanced my leadership experienced. Similary District Leadership has another level of challenges that will further grow my leadership skills.
Apart from personal growth, i would also like to contribute to achieving the District Goals through the use of my skills and experience to expand the Division M to achieve four Areas and also increase its membership health.
 
In your opinion, what are the District mission’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
  1. Build New Clubs: The idea is not on achieving numbers but birthing healthy clubs that will provide its members a platform for continuous learning. In this case my role is to support the Area Director in providing the necessary guidance and materials required from the District when building new clubs.
  2. Leadership Capacity Building: One of the challenges I noted was misalignment on the roles of Club Officers whic leads to a few EXCO members providing the leadership to the club. My role will be to develop strategies in which all Club officers must be trained to ensure they understand their roles and how it builds up to the club goals, Area goals and Division goals.
  3. Helping Clubs with Member Building Activities: As one objective of providing many people opportunity to learn, it is required for clubs to provide exciting and lively meetings which will attract member participation. My role is to work with Area Directors in developing initiatives that will make our Club Meetings valuable and provide District support where it is required.
 
Additional information about yourself
Am a member of the Youth Leadership Program and Speechcraft Team representing Malawi and also a Pathways District Support Team member.
Currently part of the Steering Committee championing the introduction of a new club in Malawi called Mzuzu Club.
All the above roles I have embraced is in striving to make a contribution to the growth and success of Toastmasters programs.