Toastmasters International District 76

Toastmasters International District 76 Japan Communication and Leadership Program since 1924

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Information from District Executive Officers

New Year Greetings from DD Azuma, Jan 2016

Kiminari Azuma, DTM
District76 Director, 2015-2016
A Happy New Year!

Kiminari Azuma, your District Direct. I hope you all had a wonderful new year!

Leadership. How leadership can make you more attractive?

"Does Competent Leadership manual really help me acquire leadership?"
This is a frequently asked question for me. I didn't know how to answer that question for a long time, however that question always reminds me of my past experience with Susan.

About 17 years ago, I was a project manager for a strategic project for a company. I thought I knew about project management well because I had read books on project management, but it was challanging to apply the knowledge to projects in real life situations. I must confess that I was not able to manage that project as much as I was supposed to do.

One day, a vice president came to visit us from the corporate HQ in US to see how we managed the project. Her name was Susan. She came to see us and find opportunities how she could help us because this project was very strategic from the corporate standpoint.

We had a meeting in which we updated the project status for her. She just listened. She never interrupted the presenters while they were talking. After the meeting, she had one on one with me, and project members. Again she listened to us very carefully taking notes. And she never interrupted us while I was talking.

When I finished, then she asked questions about the pains I was feeling, about the difficulties we were facing, etc. I felt very comfortable when talking with her, because she respected us.

On the last day, again we had a meeting. Susan shared her ideas, plans and views with us. And she asked teams in India and South East Asia so that the team in Japan would be able to work much easier. At the end of her stay, all of us couldn't help respect Susan for her professional skills and attitude.

We started weekly status telephone conference from the next week. In every meeting, we were asked to present the project status. "Sorry, my task is not on schedule. Behind." Susan alsways asked calmly "Would you please state the reasons?" "What are your recovery actions?"

Susan never got emotional, and just asked questions. Again, she never interrupted people. She listened. Then she ask for commitments. She repeated this process.

Three months later, the project completed on time. No delay.

Susan listend well, thought well, and gave feedback which were "to the points". Her time management was pefect. She organized people well. She gave people chances and help them successd. She made strong team even stronger. It seemed simple but alwasy delivered amazing results.

It was May 2001.

Let's go back to Competent Leadership manual.

It was 2006 when Toastmasters International introduced Competent Leadership manual. I was excited when I took up the manual. I opened the cover page, and turned the pages. Project 1 Listening, Project 2 Critical thinking, Project 3 Giving feedback......déjà vu!

Are these what Susan had demonstrated 5 years ago?? In this Competent Leadership manual, Susan's lessons were explained as the "leadership skillset".

As you know, we learn leadership skills through regular meeting assignments, however in the real life situation, are we doing this way?

"Hi, I am timer. Would you please give written feedback in the project 4?" "Hi, I need to play Table topics master's role. Would you write comments in project 7?" Is this the way we learn leadership?

Now let's think about LEADERSHIP.  The word "leadership" alwasy reminds me of my experiences with Susan and Susan as a professional. She was very attractive and I respect the way she behave. "She is my leader, and I am fer follower." That how I thought naturally. Susan was real leader.

Every time I read the CL manual, I am convinced with the way this book explains the leadership, and I am convinced that if I could aquire skills, knowledge and mindset explained here, I will be able to be an attractive person like Susan, the leader, the true leader.

Becoming an attractive person is the main product and becoming a leader would be bi-product.

Friends, if you had a chance to open Competent Leadership manual for the next regula meeting, I recommend you read assined chapter carefully. You will find much useful information that will make you attractive person.

Learning leadership is a sure way to help you make attractive person like Susan. Would you work with me to read Competent Leadership manual to become an attractive person?

(c) 2010-2016 Toastmasters District76

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