I was elected Vice President Education of my Toastmasters club last night, less than a year after I moved here and joined the organization.
I consistently showed up. I think I’ve missed two weekly meetings since September.
Every meeting I spoke one on one with someone: a conversation with another person who also had a reason to be in the room, going beyond pleasantries to talk about goals and plans.
Once I got used to the cadence of the meeting structure, I started signing up for and taking roles. For the last five months, I’ve gotten up in front of the group every week. I have given prepared speeches and performed every function except Sergeant at Arms and General Evaluator. The former is a role usually taken by a specific member of the executive; I’m doing the latter role next week.
I’ve encouraged people even when my own health has been poor and I’ve not felt much value in my presence. I provide specific, actionable feedback on what I think worked well and what I think could be improved.
I speak up about the importance of learning and growth, and about the ability of (and need for) every person to act as a leader. I speak from the heart on every topic.
It’s not important what I look like, or what demographic boxes people think I fit in. What matters is a solid record of intent followed through to accomplishment.
I earned this, and I accept the responsibilities.