I am glad I became a club officer

After giving a series of speeches at Midrand club, I started harbouring thoughts of getting involved in the club in the capacity of a club officer.  Initially, I first intended to serve as the Vice President Public Relations, but things happened differently, and I was nominated to serve as the President of the club. 

What I like about the role

I am glad I became a club officer because of the following reasons:

  • Service and purpose – Being a club officer gives me the privilege to serve the interests of the club which provides me with a tremendous amount of fulfilment. Before every fortnightly club-meeting, there are numerous sets of administrative tasks that the club committee works through e.g. getting the speaker’s signed up, getting the meeting venue ready, planning for the welcoming of guests etc. Going through the process of working through these tasks and then seeing the results of their completion come into fruition in the form of a fun and energised meeting creates a great deal of satisfaction.  There’s also a sense of joy that results from seeing the club executive committee’s efforts create positive change towards the club. The role further, gives me a sense of purpose as I have worthwhile goals to work towards to with the team as the Club President.
  • Working with a diverse team – As the club president I enjoy the collaboration that comes with working together with a team of other club officers who all have different ideas and problem-solving approaches. I am discovering that great ideas for the club are formulated through conversations/discussions with the team members. When I share an idea that I would like to implement in the club with a fellow club officer, eight out of ten times the idea is usually made better as a result of bouncing the idea off them and factoring in their perspective. The process of creating great and lasting ideas for the club is always through a collaborative endeavour. New ideas are sparked as a result of the team rubbing together their diverse passions.
  • Correlation between the Pathway’s path I chose and my role – Many of my roles and duties as a President tie into and provide background for many of the Pathways Projects I selected under the Innovative Planning Path and vice versa. Take for instance the Understanding your leadership Style Project which is one the first projects I undertook under the pathways program It’s major objective is to enable one to identify their leadership style. When I took the assessment, which is a key component of the project, I scored highly on the Coaching leadership style. This leadership style as I discovered from the project is more suited for a one to one dynamic or environment. From the process of doing the project I was able to figure out ways to adopt a different my leadership style to suit a more group oriented dynamic like in the Toastmaster’s club committee.

The Challenges

Being a club officer like any leadership role is not a bed of roses and comes with challenges.  One of the major challenges include the following:

  • Balancing personal growth with others growth – striking a good balance between my personal growth in the Toastmaster’s journey as a leader in the club and the growth of the club members is not a walk in the park. Leader’s are meant to be “reservoirs” and that requires continuous growth and learning. At the same time, it’s necessary to foster the collective growth of the club members on their Toastmaster’s journey. Balancing the two requires a tremendous amount of effort.
  • Time management – As a club officer, I obviously have other commitments outside my role as club officer which all require significant amount of my time and effort. This requires me to manage my time meticulously to ensure that I integrate and allocate enough time in my schedule for the tasks I have as a club officer.

Despite the challenges that come along with the role, I usually like to visualize these challenges as growth opportunities.

In summary, the privilege to serve, to work with a diverse team and have a platform to apply the knowledge and the principles from the speech projects into my club officer role make the club officer role worth it. The challenges that come with being club officer are merely spring boards for further growth.

I would like to encourage all Toastmasters who have not had the opportunity to be a club officer to consider the idea of becoming one in the near future. We are all born to be leaders in some aspect of our lives. Being a club officer at Toastmaster’s International is a magnificent platform to develop the leader within you.

Ronnie Mugisha