“If you read it all, you won’t have a single question remaining on Toastmasters, that’s how rich the documentation and information on Toastmasters is. It’s all there written down somewhere.”The Jaggernaut
You can probably think back to a moment in life where you avoided it, suppressed it or hid it. If your experience is anything like mine, I know that none of these reactions helped you achieve anything. At some point, present or past, fear has torn us all away from some significant accomplishment or victory. Fear was, in fact, Trynos ‘The Jaggernaut’ Dongo’s first reaction when he came into office as Division Z Director more than half a year ago, six years after first becoming a Toastmaster. Toastmasters as we knew it then, was going through a metamorphosis because of the total lockdown. He recalled, “I was a bit afraid. Fear kept interfering as I wondered if I could do it. Leading a Division in these unprecedented times of drastic changes!”
Instead of running from fear, the twice – published author, entrepreneur and TV personality, Trynos decided to tackle his anxieties and confidence. “I became intentional and decided to get excited about the opportunity to serve in turbulent times. In my previous Division role I had been an Area Director, so I was in the trenches already and I knew the vision of my predecessor.” This vision, anticipation and his own personal vision have all been necessary ingredients to fight the fear of uncertainty.
Besides being more than what he expected, Trynos says that being a Division Director has provided a platform where he is learning a lot more about leadership than what he is exercising. One of the lessons he learnt is that being a leader on a team isn’t about concentrating power, but about giving it away. Apart from the team leader’s responsibility of assigning tasks to the team, he has to build the team himself. Even more importantly, he has learnt to trust the skills and expertise of his team members. Easing the reins has empowered his team to explore their genius and carry out assigned tasks while he is cheering them on and providing the necessary support. The result is an engaged, excited and committed team. Trynos has also polished up on his communication skills, which are woven into the Toastmasters fabric, by routinely sharing information, resources and feedback through regular team meetings and inter team collaborations.
Division Z covers the whole of Zimbabwe geographically, but the 17 active clubs that are spread in five Areas are concentrated in only the two largest cities of the country, Harare (14) and Bulawayo (3), hence the need to extensively ‘spread the gospel of the best kept secret’, Toastmasters. Area Z1 is under Agab Dozva’s headship, Area Z2 is led by Alfred Deredzi, Area Z3 is headed by Debra Maraire with Future Moyo in charge of Area Z4 and Tsitsi Mpofu leading Area Z5.
Their growth and membership campaign strategy includes ‘selling the sizzle and not the steak.’ Toastmasters is more diverse and versatile than effective leadership and effective communication only. In emphasizing the point, Trynos said, “The purpose of the leadership programme is to serve and provide a conducive environment for everyone to join Toastmasters and achieve their goals. Let’s go deeper. Let’s sell the sizzle – time management, interview acing, podcasting, speaking on TV, conducting Zoom meetings, planning and much more, to the various potential members, according to their goals and needs.” To be better informed about Toastmasters, Trynos encourages members to read all the Toastmasters magazines at their disposal, the manuals and all the information we have on Toastmasters online. “If you read it all, you won’t have a single question remaining on Toastmasters, that’s how rich the documentation and information on Toastmasters is. It’s all there written somewhere.”
Despite the current odds, Trynos is determined to follow the Division Z blue print to the hilt. His team has already built fortitude and they are thriving on challenges. All clubs but one have renewed their membership. Growth is on the horizon with the possibility of all Areas birthing at least one club and retaining all the existing clubs. A new Area, by the end of this Toastmasters year would be a cherry on the top of the cake of success.
Division Z can be contacted on their Facebook page Zimbabwe Toastmasters Group
Contact number +263772286912