High Performance Leadership Part V: Analyzing and Presenting Your Results

The fifth and final part of the High Performance Leadership is Analyzing and Presenting Your Results.

The purpose of this step is to review the results of the project and present a five to seven minute speech to your club describing the learning process of running the project and the end results.

I began my presentation with a brief overview of the various steps of the High Performance Leadership and then moved on to the specifics of my project to improve Attendance and Participation at our club meetings.

I described the challenges I faced and needed to overcome and what I learned about leadership by leading the project.

What I learned in particular was the importance of flexibility, because nothing will go exactly as planned and to rely on the support of a well-chosen action team.

I ended my presentation by thanking my action team and my guidance committee and reminded the club that the benefits of the project: a fully functional mentoring program, well-oriented members and an active individual outreach to our members will continue beyond the lifespan of this project.


High Performance Leadership Part IV: Working the Plan

Part IV of the High Performance Leadership is by far the meatiest part of the project.

In this stage, I met several times with my action team, reviewing the progress in each separate Key Results area.  This was also the time for more intensive support and encouragement.

We reviewed the Action Plan and Timetables, making adjustments as necessary.  We also shifted responsibility from one party to another when the first was unable to continue with the project.

Towards the end of this stage, I met again with my Guidance Committee to evaluate the progress so far and make note of any changes to original plan were needed as well as to re-evaluate the entire Vision, Mission and Core Values of the project to ensure they were still valid.  I also shared the feedback for my Action Team on my leadership skills.

What I discovered was that the original timelines and milestones set were a touch too optimistic and needed to be adjusted.

The next, and final step of the project is to analyze the results and present them to the club in a 5-7 minute speech covering the project as a whole and what I learned about leadership through the experience.


Toastmasters Year in Review (2011-2012)

The 2011-2012 Toastmasters year has just come to a close and now is the time for a retrospective review of this past year events and accomplishments.

I started the year with the challenge of serving four separate clubs as Area Governor while still helping to guide my own club as Immediate Past President and keeping on track with my personal educational goals.

Serving as Area Governor was challenging and very rewarding.  I was able to get to know many fellow Toastmasters and help the clubs in my area to define and achieve their goals.  As an Area Governor, I also served as part of the District Executive Committee.  There was a lot of traveling involved (up and down the entire State), but I’m glad I stepped up.  My area ended the year as a Distinguished Area.

In my club, I helped to advise the current President to lead our club to achieve Select Distinguished Club status and formed the Nominating Committee to propose nominees for this coming year’s Club Officers.

For my personal educational goals, I completed my Advanced Communicator Bronze and lead several committees as part of my High Performance Leadership project to increase participation and attendance at our club meetings.

In all, I would call this a very successful year.

My plans for the coming year are:

  • Serve as my club’s Vice-President Education, with a goal of having four members complete their Competent Communicator.
  • Finish off my High-Performance Leadership project, which will achieve Advanced Leader Silver.
  • Complete my Advanced Communicator Silver.




High Performance Leadership Part III: Winning Commitment to Your Objective

Part three of the High Performance leadership project involves enlisting the help of others, putting together and action team and getting into more detail by devising an action plan.

The first step is to enlist an action team.  This is done by identifying key helpers and people who might resist the project from among the list of stakeholders, people who have something to gain or lose from the project.

From amongst the key helpers, I formed the action team and met with them a few times.

The first meeting was to introduce the team to the vision, mission and core values of the project (outlined in Part II).

Once the team had bought into the vision of the project, we worked together to define the key results areas of the project.

As a reminder, the project is to increase attendance and participation at our club meetings.

We came up with five key results areas:

  1. LDP Requirements: Establish and track the requirements for member who join our club through our company’s Leadership Development Program.
  2. Mentoring: Revamp our club’s Mentoring Program.
  3. Orientations: Establish a team and procedures for making sure that all new members receive orientation into the club upon joining.
  4. The Successful Club Series: Ensure that presentations from the Successful Club Series are presented in the club often.
  5. Spirit Squad: Establish a Spirit Squad to encourage members who may be lacking in participation or attendance.

For each of the key results areas, we then established specific tasks to be accomplished and a timeline for those tasks making sure that each task meets the SMART criteria:






Each member of the action team were given their tasks and timeline and we will meet again at the end of the month to discuss status.


Overdue Toastmasters Update

It’s been an awfully eventful few months for me with Toastmasters as Area Governor.

I’m planning on using that as my excuse for being so slack in my posting of late.

As a result of these two phenomenon, I have quite a few long overdue updates.

In my last Toastmasters-related post, I mentioned that we were in our Fall Contest Season.  We are holding Humorous Speech and Evaluation contests.

September was Area Contest Month and I helped out in eight separate Area contests, during three of which I gave the test speech that the Evaluation Contestants evaluated.

After seeing how just about every other Area in Hampton Roads did it, I finally held my own Area Contest on a dark and stormy night at the end of September.

The contest went very well, mostly because I had a lot of help.


Today was our Division Contest, where all the winners of the various Area Contests competed to see who would move on to the contests to be held at our Fall Convention.  I’m proud to announce that the Humorous Speech contestant from my home club placed third.


Also at today’s contest, the winners of the Division-wide “Battle of the VPs of Membership” were announced.  This was a membership renewal contest to see which clubs could get the highest percentage of members renewed as early as possible.

Of the 24 clubs in the Division, two clubs in my Area (more than any other Area) qualified and one of my clubs took First Place.


Note: Not Me

This coming Friday, my company will be holding its semi-Annual Tech Expo where all of the sizable IT Department gathers together and, after a plenary session where the CIO and the various VPs share status and planning updates, we break into groups and attend sessions presented by different sub-departments to find out what new technologies are being developed and used.

I mention this because I will be presenting a brief overview and introduction at the Expo explaining what we do in our Toastmasters club.  The purpose is to sell the benefits of Toastmasters for both individual skills development and contribution towards the company’s success.


My last update is about the District Conference.  Because I’m in IT and have been willing to help, I’ve been asked to act as the “AV Guy”.  I’ll be in charge of the setup and maintenance for the entire conference.

I’m a bit apprehensive about this because it’s a really big job and AV is not my exact bailiwick.  I’ve made this clear, so hopefully not too much is expected and I have reached out for assistance, with some success.

We’ll be holding a dry run next weekend at the facility to work out the details.  Wish me luck!

High Performance Leadership Part II: Choosing Your Objective

Part two of my series describing my progress through the High Performance Leadership Program

In this part of the program, I need to devise a vision for project, craft a mission statement and identify the core values that will drive the project.  I then need to plan and present a speech describing the project and enlist my audience to support my vision and assist in making it a reality.

As a reminder, my project is to improve meeting attendance and participation

To devise a vision, the instructions are to close my eyes and picture the outcome I would wish for in the project.

The mission statement is a brief, simplified version of the vision which encapsulates the purpose and foundation of the project and further describes the benefits the project will provide.

The core values of the project are a list of beliefs the should determine what types of actions and behaviors will bring about the vision of the project.

The vision of the project is:

Our club meetings will be filled to capacity with members eagerly performing roles and giving speeches that they’ve scheduled ahead of time to move themselves closer to their educational achievements while other members enthusiastically congratulate them for their hard work.

My mission statement is:

My mission is to have members working together to encourage participation, attendance and educational goal-setting so the club and its meetings can become more engaging and vibrant and all members can work towards and achieve educational improvement at a challenging pace.

The core values of the project are:

  • Active members will encourage less active members
  • Every member will have an educational goal
  • All members will recognize the importance of regular attendance and participation

I have made the following plan for my speech:

I will open the speech with an expression of appreciation to the members in attendance.  Then I will describe my vision by phrasing it with “Don’t you wish…” or “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if…”

Next I will read and expand upon my mission statement.

Then I will list and talk about the core values of the project.

Finally, I will conclude by reiterating the vision then say: “I will need dedicated club members to help our club turn this vision into a reality”

I will close by mentioning that I will be reaching out for volunteers and asking that anyone who wants to help can volunteer now or contact me later.

My speech is scheduled in August.

This is where I currently am in the program.  At this point, I’d like to invite all of you, my readers, to join my Guidance Committee and share your advice as I progress through the  program.

High Performance Leadership Part I: Learning About Leadership

As part of the requirements to achieve my Advanced Leader Silver, I am working through the High Performance Leadership program.

The program is broken out into five parts where I will develop my leadership skills by working to complete a project.  To do this, I have had to recruit a Guidance Committee to help me work through the project.  I meet with this committee at the end of each part.

I’ll describe my progress through the program one post at a time.

Part I of the program is Learning About Leadership.

In this part, I learned the six dimensions of servant leadership, performed a self-assessment of my current leadership skills, came up with a set of potential projects to work on and recruited my Guidance Committee.

After doing all that, I met with my committee to discuss my progress through part one and to solicit their feedback on which project to work on.

The project I chose was to improve meeting attendance and participation.

I chose this project because attendance at our club meetings has been low for quite some time.

I’ve seen this as a big problem in our club that I’ve been trying to improve for a while.  My hope is that, through this project, we’ll be able to reinvigorate our flagging attendance and help our members and club improve.


The end of June means changes in Toastmasters.

The Toastmasters year ends June 30th.

Yesterday, our club held its second End of Year Celebration where we induct our new Club Officers.

I have handed over the reins of Club Presidency to a most able successor and have taken on the role of Immediate Past President.

In this role, I will serve as a mentor and adviser to the club and will be responsible for chairing the Nominating Committee for the officers for the year after next.

In addition to my role as Immediate Past President, on July 1st, I will begin my term as Area Governor (as I’ve mentioned before).

As Area Governor, I will be responsible for working with the four clubs in my area to help them achieve their goals.

Additionally, I will be working to help the area as a whole achieve the goals required to become a Distinguished Area.  To that end, I will be tracking those goals on my Distinguished Area Status Page in a similar way to how I’ve been tracking  my club’s progress in the Distinguished Club Program.

I will also be responsible for conducting two Area Governor Visits per club and organizing the Area Speech Contests.

Since all the clubs in my Area are corporate club, where facility access is strictly controlled, I have started coordinating another place to hold the contests.

Things are changing and it looks like it will be a challenging, but fun year ahead.  Stay tuned as I will surely have much to share in this space.

Summer Leadership Institute Tomorrow!

District 66 Toastmasters will hold its Summer Leadership Institute tomorrow!

This will be the first of two rounds of training offered by the District for incoming club officers, although all District 66 Toastmasters are invited and encouraged to attend.   The second round will be held on July 23.

For the first time, the training will be conducted simultaneously at three different Virginia locations: Salem, Glen Allen and  Virginia Beach.

The sessions will begin with a brief plenary session where all three locations will be connected via video conference.

After the plenary session, we will break out into separate training sessions.  These will include the standard officer training session plus new material.  This will be especially useful for members who may have already attended officer training in the past and would like to learn something new.

The offerings include:

  • Always Bring you’re A-Game – Part I (the Mechanics of a Great Meeting)
  • Always Bring you’re A-Game – Part II (planning and preparation are the key)
  • Evaluate to Motivate
  • Finding New Members for Your Club
  • Going Beyond Your Club (opportunities for Leadership growth)
  • Promoting Your Club with Websites and Social Media
  • Strategies for Coaching Clubs
  • The Distinguished Club Program
  • The Toastmasters Educational Program
  • When You Are the Secretary
  • When You Are the Sergeant at Arms
  • When You Are the Treasurer
  • When You Are the Vice-President Membership
  • When You Are the Vice-President Public Relations

As usual, each club which sends at least four of its new officers to this training will earn credit towards the Distinguished Club Program, but it’s really worthwhile for any Toastmaster to attend and participate.

As an incoming Area Governor, this will be an opportunity to meet the officers for the clubs in my Area in person, as well as to network with other Toastmasters.  Plus, I’ll be helping to supply the refreshments.

If you’re a Toastmaster in the area, I hope to see you there!

Area Governor Training Recap

I just completed training for my new position as Area Governor in Toastmasters District 66.  I start my year of service July 1.

Beyond learning about some of the workings of the District, my up-coming responsibilities and a ton of other useful things, I also had the chance to meet and network with folks from around the District.

My responsibilities as an Area Governor are as follows:

  • Act as a liaison between the four clubs in my area and the District
  • Visit each club at least twice a year, giving help and guidance towards achieving their Distinguished Club goals
  • Install new club officers if invited to do so
  • Plan and conduct Area-level speech contests
  • Ensure club officers attend District-sponsored training
  • Achieve at least Distinguished Area status for the year.
  • Participate in the District Executive Committee (DEC)
  • Form and chair the Area Council to meet at least twice a year

In addition to the responsibilities listed above, the District is asking each Area Governor to provide at least one new club prospect and to encourage each club to add at least one new member a month.

I will continue to track the Distinguished Club Program status of my home club.  But I will also be tracking my area’s progress towards Distinguished Area.

As with the Distinguished Club Program, there are three levels of Distinguished Area: Distinguished, Select Distinguished and President’s Distinguished.

The criteria for Distinguished Area are based in the number of paid clubs in the Area as of June 30th.  This is known as the CLUB BASE.  The CLUB BASE  for my area (barring unforeseen circumstances) will be 4.

The goals for the Distinguished Area program are:

Distinguished: Achieve 4 of the following 5:

  1. CLUB BASE X 0.75 (rounded down) October renewals submitted on time: 3 needed
  2. CLUB BASE X 0.75 (rounded down) April renewals submitted on time: 3 needed
  3. CLUB BASE X 1.75 (rounded down) Competent Communicator Awards: 7 needed
  4. CLUB BASE X 0.5 (rounded down) Advanced Communicator Awards: 2 needed
  5. CLUB BASE X 0.6 (rounded down) Clubs achieving at least Distinguished Club: 2 needed

Select Distinguished: Achieve all 5 goals above PLUS all three of the following:

  • CLUB BASE X 0.8 (rounded down) first Club Visit reports submitted on time: 3 needed
  • CLUB BASE X 0.8 (rounded down) second Club Visit reports submitted on time: 3 needed
  • CLUB BASE X 0.6 (rounded down) clubs with 20 or more members: 2 needed

President’s Distinguished: Achieve all 8 goals above plus a net gain of one club to the area.

There’s a lot involved in being an Area Governor, but I can tell I’m going to enjoy it.



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