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Competent Leadership: Navigating a Sea of Opportunities

September 23, 2010

I may be training for a real marathon but I feel like it’s been a figurative marathon to complete the Competent Leadership (CL) manual.  As I limp toward the finish line, I wanted to share some advice.

Leadership: Getting all Your Ducks in a Row

When I started out, I wish I’d known…


You Don’t Have to Do Everything
: For the Competent Communicator (CC) you have to complete every part of every project.  The CL is a bit different.  While it’s still split up into 10 “projects,” each one has several meeting roles and you usually only have to do a few.  Keep this in mind and be strategic as you schedule yourself for meeting roles.  Use the checklist I gave to Talk for Change’s officers to help you figure out what you actually need to do.  Believe me, filling out this checklist was a major turning point for me.

The CL Goes Beyond the Club Meetings:  As part of earning your CL, you’ll get the opportunity to take on leadership roles outside the club meeting.  This is something you should plan for now.  In addition to mentoring someone, you’ll need to do one of six things…

Help Organize a Club Speech Contest: There are opportunities to help both in the fall and the spring.

Help Organize a Club Special Event: Are you a social butterfly?  If so, put those skills to good use organizing a club special event.  A happy hour or other occasion would give us a chance to bond as a club outside the normal meeting time.

Help Organize a Club Member Campaign or Contest:  Getting new members is vital to filling roles, having enough people to evaluate, and keeping Talk for Change strong.

Help Organize a Club PR Campaign:
Help increase the visibility of the club.  Someone could tour area clubs and be an ambassador for the club.

Help Produce a Club Newsletter:
Have you always wanted to hone your writing and online media skills?  Here’s your chance!  Help to produce a club newsletter with club updates and useful speaking tips.

Assist the Club’s Webmaster:
Time and time again we’ve been told that our website is what gets guests most interested in attending our club meetings.  Do you have suggestions for ways to improve it?  Then, work to make it happen!

I hope this has been helpful and that you can sprint to the end of your CL this year.  Please contact Talk for Change’s president, Joe Maddens, to indicate interest in any of the above leadership opportunities or with questions.

Good luck in another great year at Talk for Change!

Elisabeth Frost is the Area 31 Governor of Toastmasters International’s District 36.

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