Leadership Opportunities – Spontaneous Leadership

After visiting my current club and other clubs in the Midrand Johannesburg area several times, I finally joined the Midrand Groundbreakers in June 2018.

I say without a shadow of doubt that it was the biggest and most amazing thing I have done for myself in 2018! I was thrown into the deep end by the then President of the Club, Keamo Molebalwa when she asked me to run for the Vice President Education (VPE) role. Being the person I am, always looking for excitement, attention and challenge, I immediately said ‘YES’! ‘YES’! The club executive elections came and I was nominated and elected as a VPE.

A month into the role I was shocked by the intensity and the size of the role! I thought to myself ‘what did I sign up for? ‘How am I going to do this? I have so many other roles in life.

I am a mother to two young children, a wife and a goal getter at work!’ I realized I had jumped into something I had no idea about, and was ill prepared for. Most importantly I realized only then that I had not ‘done’ my research sufficiently about this particular role. Like one of the new members once said to me ‘Rethabile I just realized you are the engine of this club’! Her saying this was an ‘aha’ moment for me!

I decided from that that day onwards that I had to step up and take this new role seriously! I did my homework, asked for assistance and tried different strategies.

I told myself that ‘there was no way I was going to fail myself and the club.

As we speak, I am a few months now in the job and I can happily say I am coping with this big role! I have taken advice and established the VPE subcommittee which helps me to execute my role better.

As I learn to communicate better through speech presentation, playing different top table roles in the club I am also sharpening many other skills such as leadership, planning, persuasion and negotiation.

I have learnt the following lessons to date as I continue to happily serve as the VPE:

1. I fully agree that leadership is about serving others and that one can’t call themselves a great leader if they are not aware of the needs of those they serve.

2. No man is an island, I regard myself as a person who delivers and works hard to achieve a set goal, but I have learnt that I only do even better if I work as a team with others, E.g. through delegation of work and asking for advice and guidance when in doubt or struggling.

Lastly, I have learnt and confirmed something very important about myself. I enjoy and love public speaking wholeheartedly! I am utterly thankful for Toastmasters and its many opportunities and I look forward to growing others and myself in months and years ahead.


Rethabile Mbokodi

VPE Midrand GroundBreakers