Rupa Datta – Nominated Candidate for District Director
Toastmasters member since
MBA – Henley Business School
BA (Hons) European Studies with German – University of Durham
Toastmasters offices held and terms of service
D91 Program Quality Director, Jul 2021 – Present
D91 Club Growth Director, 2020/21
Division B Director, July 2019 – June 2020
Area 29 Director, July 2018 – June 2019
President – Trojan Speakers, July 2017 – June 2018
VP Membership Trojan Speakers, July 2016 – June 2017
Toastmasters honors and recognition
Club Growth Director District 91 – Resilience Award, 2020-2021
President’s Distinguished Division (B), 2020
Distinguished Area (29), 2019
President’s Distinguished Club (Trojan Speakers), 2018
Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a District leader:
I’m fortunate enough to have enjoyed a varied ‘portfolio’ career to date which means I can see how Toastmasters applies to the real world from a number of lenses. As a career and talent development specialist, I recognise and can demonstrate to others the value of our product and how it can benefit anyone’s lifelong learning experience.
From a consulting perspective, I focus on commercial excellence, meaning that I recognise how the dots join together in the different functions of a business. The same is replicated within Toastmasters through the discussion, creation and implementation of success plans at all levels of our organisation.
What experience do you have in strategic planning?
Within Toastmasters, having served on the District Trio for the last couple of years, our success plans are multi-year strategic plans.
Commercially, as a business development consultant, I am engaged to develop sales and marketing go to market strategies for business.
What experience do you have in the area of finance?
Various commercial roles managing a specific budget or business unit.
Within Toastmasters, as part of the Trio, working with the rest of the District Leadership Team and Finance Manager in preparation of our budget to support our District Mission and very much appreciate our governance here!
What experience do you have in developing procedures?
Great question and one that has certainly been more Toastmasters related in the last year or so. As a District, we by default follow Toastmasters International policy. Sometimes there is a call to make these policies clearer for operational purposes within a District. Most recently, we were asked to clarify District 91 procedure on training. Serving as Program Quality Director this year, an education and training committee was set up, guidance reviewed and delivered to both the District Council and District Executive Committee. An up-to-date operational procedure for Club Officer Training has since been published and circulated to Division and Area Directors for Winter 2021-2022 Training.
What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?
Lots! Different lessons in different roles which highlight exactly what we do. To pick a couple of examples:
– We have a system and a structure that is tried and tested. If you want to know something, the chances are someone has already written the playbook. Don’t try and reinvent the wheel for its own sake.
– Lobbying for change works. It can take time, particularly if the change is to influence a policy. It is how you go about it that matters. Be patient!
Why do you want to serve as a District leader?
External influences mean that we continue to live in uncertain times. The purpose of our organisation is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago and is something that I remain passionate about. Our learning experience provides structure and stability that can serve as an anchor for the professional development needs of the masses – and for many this will be a lifelong opportunity should they desire it.
I’ll bring the energy and enthusiasm required of a brand ambassador to my tenure as we continue to strive towards our envisioned future.
In your opinion, what are the District mission’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?
We build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence
Put simply, through our clubs, Districts are vehicles to reach more people to experience the benefits of our program and we do this by creating new clubs and creating environments where our members can find and use their voice.
As District Director, I view my role as setting the strategic priorities and direction for the next few years and building on the work done by my predecessors. As a leader as coach, I’ll deliver this through my leadership team who in turn will have specific goals to focus on as well as their own strengths and development goals.
Additional information about yourself
Contributed to two best selling career books during lockdown.
Make the best of being in the fresh air by going on hikes as often as a I can.
I can often be found pairing Indian food and sparkling wine and writing about it