When I started my term as Division Governor last year (note the title of this role has changed to Division Director) it became evident that some of the Area Governors (note the title of this role has changed to Division Director) had more life experience and exposure to corporate leadership roles which enhanced their understanding of what information to communicate and how to do so verbally and also in written form during our monthly Division Meetings. Keeping in mind that we teach transferable leadership skills within the Toastmasters organization I recognized an opportunity to teach those who had never been trained, taught or exposed to the skill of preparing and presenting a report. Area Directors are the eyes and ears of the District. They are the front line ambassadors and the direct link to the clubs. They play an important role in the success of individuals clubs, their Area, the Division and the District as a whole. In order to better prepare them for their roles and the leadership learning opportunities I decided to own up to my poor assumption (that they should know what was expected) and prepared a list of potential items that they should observe and report on during our monthly meetings.
We must always balance between an individual’s desire to learn and the fact that everyone is a volunteer. Some people’s hunger for knowledge is greater and the willingness to lean in and contribute can vary a great deal from one individual to the next. If you are truly a leader and you have a willing student then they will appreciate having some structure, guidelines and expectations as a foundation of your working relationship. From my perspective I just wanted to plant some seeds of thought so that the Area Governors on the team weren’t speechless when they were given the floor for ten minutes at a meeting.
Suggestions/Ideas for Area Director Activities to Report on:
- Which Clubs have you visited since our last meeting and what type of visit was it (i.e. Club Officer Induction, introductory, formal, training, special event, social outing etc.)?
- Tell us about the visit and by listing notable observations (i.e. exceptional/model meetings, level of engagement, quality of meeting, following policy – all meetings should include speeches, evaluations and table topics, poor meetings, anything that you liked so much you are interested in implementing it into your own club).
- Clubs that have submitted paperwork, reports etc. (i.e. Club Success Plan) and clubs that have not.
- Strong leadership and teams vs, opportunity for improvement.
- Distinguished Club Program – Engaged, not engaged, on target, off target.
- Volunteer sign-up sheet circulated and outcome.
- Email communication.
- Phone Calls.
- Engagement and responsiveness from Clubs and/or Club Officers.
Training, Contests and Events
- Club statistics, which clubs are doing well, which clubs are not participating?
- Insights or feedback on any group or individual Club Officer Training that you have delivered.
- What dates are your Clubs running their contests on?
- Who is participating and who is not?
- What other events are happening?
Challenges, Issues, Concerns and Opportunities
- From your observations.
- What’s working, what’s not working?
- Who needs help/who wants help?
- Identify and struggling clubs that need assistance or qualify for a Club Coach.
- Requests that you have received for assistance.
- Questions you have, as a group, how can we brainstorm or offer you suggestions, ideas or answers to help you?
For the Division Governor and/or the Team
- How can the Division Governor or the Team better serve you?
- Questions you have or requests that you would like to make.
- Names of people willing to volunteer or wanting to apply for opportunities (i.e. Club Coaches and/or Mentors)?
- In a constructive manner name issues you are encountering (i.e. cannot make it to a certain club because of when they meet or feeling overwhelmed due to the amount of information/emails, upcoming deadline dates) so that we can openly discuss and in a supportive manner figure out how as a team we can work together to address these issues.
- Always keep in mind the importance of positive energy and a results oriented mindset. If you are facing some personal issues that require you to check out for a predetermined amount of time that is totally understandable. The focus in our meetings is to share experiences, brainstorm for solutions, support each other, lift and inspire! It should be a safe and friendly environment and we should keep it positive and upbeat to ensure that we focusing on serving the Clubs and the Members that we represent in Division G.
- What have you learned?
- Best part/worst part of the experience so far?
Club Reports and Administration
- Successor(s) identified.
- Additional Area Governor Candidates.
I wish you great success in your leadership role! Enjoy the learning process and your opportunities to contribute to the development of others!