I woke up this morning struck by the thought that we are at the halfway point of this Toastmasters year. My next thought was a quick inventory of what District 4 leadership (from Club Officers to the members of the District Executive Committee) has accomplished thus far. Because I am a pragmatist, my last thought was, “So, what’s the plan to finish strong?”
Very conveniently, our halfway point begins with the calendar year, which is a wonderful time to reassess and re-strategize. This naturally calls for a re-statement of desirable outcomes. For me, it’s the following:
LEAD OUR DISTRICT TO DISTINGUISHED STATUS
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ACHIEVE DISTINGUISHED STATUS? The Distinguished District Program, just like the Distinguished Club Program or DCP (see an image of the Transition Period DCP at the bottom of this blog) is the most reliable tool we currently have to gauge the effectiveness of our strategies at the Club, Area, Division and District level. The Distinguished Club and the District Programs we create to support it are not the end to all our efforts – with a mix of educational (6), membership growth & retention (2), and administrative (2) goals – the DCP and the programs created around it exist to ensure member achievement and satisfaction.
WHY DOES IT MATTER? Becoming a Distinguished Club and District matters because the DCP is both a planning tool (a way to look up and ahead) and a gauge to measure success. That is, as our year begins, it gives us a template where we can plug in our members and club goals; as the year progresses and concludes, it tells us concretely to what extent we collectively enriched the club experience for each of our more than 3000 members.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CELEBRATING THE COMPLETION OF OUR GOALS: Being a distinguished district means everyone from our district attending the 2018 Toastmasters International Convention in Chicago will have an opportunity to walk onto the World Stage and be recognized collectively. Although I bet that’s a glorious feeling, it’s a fleeting moment. The more transcendental reason is that begin distinguished means that more members advanced their own goals. THAT IS WORTH A HUGE CELEBRATION AT EVERY LEVEL, so I encourage you to plan for individual and group recognition at the club level!
OUR DISTRICT PLAN:
- Incorporate into our pre-planned monthly meetings and training sessions for District Leaders more hands-on training, providing a true leadership lab that empowers and prepares these members for the important role of supporting our clubs
- Assess on a weekly and monthly basis the efficacy of our Incentive Programs
- Develop team strategies to support struggling clubs
- Recognize successful clubs to reinforce and show appreciation for good practices.
WHAT’S YOUR PLAN AT THE CLUB LEVEL? (TIPS FOR CLUB OFFICERS AND MEMBERS):
- Whatever your plan, d4tm.org has the tools to help you carry it out! Create a shortcut to this incredibly helpful site on your desktop and smartphone!
- Pathways Rollout Management at the Club Level. Step-by-step instructions for “Base Camp Manager” tasks are provided in the Base Camp Manager Duties guide available at org/images/documents/Base_Camp_Manager_Duties.pdf. Additional resources and information about Pathways is available on D4TM at d4tm.org/educational-program/pathways.
- Officer Checklist for January (Reminder for clubs with officers that serve semi-annual terms, have you submitted your new Club Officer Roster to Toastmasters International yet?)
- Club Officer Training Schedule (training events scheduled throughout the district from Dec. – Feb.) Sign up now and start your holiday season ahead of the curve.
- Learn more about the Transition Period Distinguished Club Program
Start the year with these three simple steps (in no particular order):
2. Attend Club Officer Training.
3. Officers, track your members’ progress and track your club progress.
May you find inspiration, guidance and clear objectives as you look up!