I joined Toastmasters in 2016 and I never looked back. By the end of the TM year I had completed my CC10. I was still a new member and my club was nominating new exco. Like most of the new members, I wasn’t really sure what that meant. I received a call from our then president Audrey Mphela, now Division H Director telling me that the club had decided that I take up the role of President. I panicked a bit and asked her if she knew who she was on the call with. With her sweet, small voice, she laughed and said “Gadifele what are you saying now?”
I had mixed feelings. I was happy that I was noticed but I didn’t think I could take up such a big role. I mean I have never led anywhere in my life except for my kids. 4th Dimension Toastmasters has a lot of very smart and intelligent members, that was my first worry. Where am I going to lead them to? I wondered. I asked Audrey if I could get back to her in a day or two because deep down I believed the role was just not for me. I was hoping she was going to tell me that she would look for another person who was not afraid to take up the challenge.
To cut the long story short, I became the president for 2017/8, and when some members decided not to renew their dues, I started to doubt myself. I wondered if they were leaving because I was the President. I thought of stepping down so the club wouldn’t lose members, and I was advised that members leave clubs not because of the president but because of many other things. Speaking to members from other clubs also helped a lot.
Just when I thought everything was under control, some of the Exco members started pulling out. SAA, Secretary and Treasurer wanted nothing to do with their roles. SAA and Secretary were fairly new members. The leadership roles were probably a daunting task for them. Our Treasurer has SAMA, she is on a wheelchair, she felt that being a treasurer was going to be too much commitment for her. The club mentors spoke to her and encouraged her. She reconsidered and she was soon back on her role and she did a great job.
As for our SAA and Secretary, the story was totally different. The club lost them as members. The exco was 2 members down. Luckily toastmasters always have people willing to help ad learn while at it.
We managed to replace the 2 missing exco members and the club was able to achieve 10 out 10 DCP goals for 12 consecutive years. I have learned quite a lot during my time as club president and I believe that as Area Director there is still a lot to learn. There are few leadership roles I would like to explore and I have no doubt that I will get there and learn.
Area Director-Area S2