News and Events - D91 Toastmasters UK South

Andy Hessey – Candidate for Division Director

Andy Hessey – Candidate for Division Director

Why are you running for this District Leadership Role? Why now?

There are many reasons why I am running for a District Leadership Role.  Firstly, I am enjoying my year as AD immensely. I have been fortunate to work with some outstanding leaders and I have learnt so much about myself and my leadership capabilities, but I feel it is unfinished business.  I have so much more to give and give back to Toastmasters.  I feel that I have learnt valuable lessons already that can help clubs.  I like to think that I am an effective cheerleader for Toastmasters and able to enthuse and motivate members as well as helping those who need more information on important areas such as Pathways and People Management.  I like to think of myself as someone who can make people smile and feel good – something I often to with my fellow AD’s on our WhatsApp group

What is your vision for the role?

My vision for the role is simple: To end my term with my clubs in a much stronger position than I inherit them.  I know the obvious answer is for “every club to be distinguished”, however, there will always be times when that is not possible because of internal issues or wider-club problems.  I would also envisage that I would be learning the lessons from this year’s TLI in order to deliver an even better one next year.

How will you go about achieving this vision?

One of my core skills is being able to build strong relationships and by having a great working relationship with people allows me to be able to build strong goals and get to the root of problems rather than being give the response people think I want to hear. In addition, I  will work with the clubs to make sure they have the skills, members and enthusiasm to become a distinguished club by putting hosting area events such as the COTs and the Speech Contests.  I will promote Open House meetings and membership drives and help educate club officers to understand the benefits and processes to make Pathways a success.

How do you plan to achieve Distinguished status?

 Getting clubs to distinguished level is not a simple one-size-fits-all approach, especially going into the critical final transition year between the original education programme and Pathways.  There is going to need to be a focus on getting clubs from just delivering levels 1 and 2 in Pathways towards encouraging people to be getting Levels 4 and 5 completed.   Ensuring that club retention is high will help with that and also will make it easier for when new members need mentors.  Mentoring is a bit thing that I have probably not taken seriously enough in my first 6 months as an AD, but it is something that I want to address before the end of my term.  I want to make sure that all clubs as part of their Club Success Plans have mentoring as a high priority, ensuring that there is a consistent approach to not only new members, but members who are doing roles for the first time such as General Evaluator and TME.

What is the greatest challenge you may face as District Leader?

As difficult as it may be to see into the future, I expect one of the greatest problems to be rejection of ideas and the ingrained attitudes where clubs are happy doing it their way.  This is a problem not just within Toastmasters but within other organisations I have been involved in as well as clients that I have worked for.  The resistance to change is natural but given the changes that have happened in Toastmasters over the past couple of years, it is really important that clubs understand that times must change.  Often this is dealt with through a combination of education and explanation – the formal training on why Pathways must be embraced especially with June 2020 in mind, and the less-formal conversations, understanding why a club feels that change is a negative force.

How will you work with others to achieve success?

The way I will work with others will not change.  It will be, first and foremost, collaborative.  I have been fortunate to have worked in a number of very high-performing teams.  I like to think that the team building exercises at the recent District Officer Training was demonstration that I am able to provide great input when I am able to and provide advice and expertise when I am able to.

Sandra Mighty – Candidate for Division Director

Sandra Mighty – Candidate for Division Director

Why are you running for this District Leadership Role? Why now?

I am running for the District Leadership Role because it was through being a member of a couple of quality clubs that toastmasters changed my life.  I would therefore like to be able to have a positive influence in ensuring that, just like I did, members get the maximum benefit out of toastmasters so that it too can be life transforming for them.  By supporting the area directors and by working with leaders, it provides me with the opportunity to ensure that clubs serve their members well and achieve this mission.  As I am currently serving as an area director, I feel that it is a natural transition and step to take once I hand over this role.

What is your vision for the role?

My vision for this role is to build positive relationships that will inspire, motivate and support area directors to carry out their leadership roles effectively so as to have maximum impact on clubs fulfilling their mission so that lives are transformed more clubs are built.

How will you go about achieving this vision?

I believe in leading by example, in building positive relationships and in being passionate within my role.  It is important to be a listening ear and to be able to help leaders to arrive at solutions to problems.  It is also paramount that I know about each club both strengths and weaknesses and to help with strategies and to support area directors in addressing these in a positive way.  Its paramount that clubs and area directors are clear about the mission and the bigger picture of toastmasters  

What is the greatest challenge you may face as District Leader?

What may be my greatest challenge as a district leader is having to address issues where the toastmaster’s mission is not being fulfilled within clubs.  This may be due to a number of factors, so the challenge would be to find strategies and solutions to solve such issues.

How will you work with others to achieve success?

I am naturally a people’s person so will work with others by firstly seeking to build positive relationships, being a good listener and ensuring that I offer the support that leaders need to fulfil their mission

Ken Essien – Candidate for Division Director

Ken Essien – Candidate for Division Director

Why are you running for this District Leadership Role? Why now?

I have enjoyed my journey of personal growth since I joined Toastmasters six years ago!

I recall my desire to address the gap I discovered during my personal skills audit which led to an online research for ways to become better at public speaking. Although unfamiliar at the time, the term “Toastmasters” peaked my interest and I would then attend my first Toastmasters meeting as a Guest at Covent Garden Speakers.

Fast forward to this moment, my experience as the present Area Director for Area C05 has been a much valuable leadership experience.

Small Changes, Big Differences….

Having experienced Toastmasters across resourceful clubs, and clubs that have the potential to become more resourceful, I am a firm believer that small changes, and an extra effort in the right places, can often make the difference.  We should all aspire to identify and implement the “extra” which we need for our clubs and Division.

Why I want the role?

Through my Toastmasters journey, I have greatly appreciated my personal growth and the opportunity to gain valuable lessons along the way.  My wish is to leverage on my sense of responsibility, as well as my commitment to excellence, to serve our District in the capacity of Division Director.  I shall contribute towards providing the conducive environment that nurtures the growth of competent and confident Toastmasters.  

If elected, what would be my key actions in the role?

  • Provide service leadership to the Division
  • Provide strong support for Area Directors to succeed in their respective areas
  • Encourage all clubs in the Division to embrace the Toastmasters values and Promise, incorporating these into their individual activities
  • Encourage good engagement and energy amongst the clubs, in pursuit of personal and club growth at all times
  • Facilitate collaboration, cooperation and learning across all clubs, promoting best practices and workshops as necessary
  • Encourage and promote quality and efficiency at club meetings across the Division
  • Give visibility to Toastmasters targets whilst providing the necessary support to clubs, so that their accomplishments would correspond with the required standard of excellence

I very much hope that you will share in my vision for Toastmasters in the coming months. I count on your support and vote on 4th May, 2019 in Ashford.

Rupa Datta – Candidate for Division Director

Rupa Datta – Candidate for Division Director

Why are you running for this District Leadership Role? Why now?

I’ve observed Division B either from afar or from within for 4 years. We are producing some excellent communicators/winners however the emphasis on leadership development is lacking.

In terms of timing, I feel that with all of the other changes we are undertaking as an organisation such as Pathways transition and the like, a longer term view is needed. My goal is to serve in a role where I feel I can add the most value.

What is your vision for the role?

To create future leaders with the long term interests of the Division/Organisation at heart

How will you go about achieving this vision?

  1. Education/Re-education of the Toastmasters educational programme
  2. Succession Planning to begin from 1st July 2019 at all levels in the Division
  3. Emphasis on blend of skills development within Toastmasters and real life

How do you plan to achieve Distinguished status?

It is hard to fully answer this question without knowing for sure what the Division profile will look like i.e. re-alignment and club leadership teams, however Division B has had a good track record in this area, achieving Distinguished status in 2 of the last 3 years and currently on track to do so this programme year.

For me, the most effective way to do this is to ensure that Area Directors understand their roles and Club Leaders receive the highest quality training we can offer. Moments of Truth and DCP education at club level to be delivered also.

What is the greatest challenge you may face as District Leader?

Resistance from others. This may take shape in the form of apathy, ‘knowing best’, or simply personality clashes.

How will you work with others to achieve success?

A test for all of us I feel! As we often don’t know for sure who will be in our teams every year at Toastmasters, team formation and understanding is key. For my proposed immediate team, establishing an agreed form of communication and frequency is key. At club level, I feel it is important to be visible and approachable without undermining the Area Director or President and an avid networker, establishing mutually beneficial relationships with the rest of the District Leadership team as early as possible will be a focus.

Mike Burrows – Candidate for Division Director

Mike Burrows – Candidate for Division Director

Why are you running for this District Leadership Role? Why now?

With my age and experience, I now believe it time to ‘pay-back’, so I relish the thought of supporting a new group of Area Directors and guiding them to do their jobs well.

What is your vision for the role?

I want to see Armada recover to full health: most likely support will continue well into next year. Additionally, one of the current Area Directors is wanting to start up a new club in my current area, in Taunton: geographically she is well placed to help: so I plan to ensure Area A62 will grow by one more club. I also look forward to getting to know the other Area Directors in the Division and guiding them to set high standards of support for their Clubs.

How will you go about achieving this vision?

By monitoring progress of Club Coaches, Area Directors and prompting them to meet with the requirements of their roles. I will establish regular on-line meetings for the Area Directors to monitor progress and prompt them to do their respective duties in a timely manner.

How do you plan to achieve Distinguished status?

This will primarily be by goal setting: ensuring the Area Directors understand the requirements of their roles and persuading them to set their goals to achieve at least Distinguished Status for their Areas and Clubs.

What is the greatest challenge you may face as District Leader?

Most likely, this would be having an Area Director who does not do their role diligently and in a timely manner. If this proved to be the case I would put in some extra effort to coach the individual and guide them how to do their role.

How will you work with others to achieve success?

Predominantly, this would be by having an ‘open door’ policy, making sure that they are aware that they can contact me at any time to seek guidance or advice. I am not afraid to enter frank discussions to ensure that high standards are and should be their targets, and that they should live up to those standards as well as they possibly can. I am a realist though, getting to know people as individuals, so that I have some understanding of their personal situations and can therefore tailor my ‘demands’ so that they achieve, if necessary, just the minimum requirements of their roles.