Excellence in the Face of Adversity! Leadership challenges

From Samir Malak, Area Director, K35 

Celebration of Excellence

Area K Contest, April 16As we were preparing for the Area Contest, a boy approached me, his face awash with consternation.  “When are you going to be finished?”  I advised we would certainly be done by 10pm.  “But we are having Karate at 8pm in that room.”

“Let me look into that.”  I responded, with a smile.

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Mission Accomplished! D91 achieves President’s Distinguished District!

Fellow Toastmasters,

What a fantastic year we’ve had launching and establishing our new District.
Hilary Briggs, Immediate Past District Governor, District 91

I was very aware back in July 14 that this year was as much about ensuring the foundations were put in place for ongoing success as actual achievements in the year. In practice, we’ve achieved both – and I’m delighted to report that I’ve had the final confirmation from TI on our achievement of President’s Distinguished District – and also a message from International President Mohammed Murat congratulating us on ranking 3rd in the world out of 97 districts.

This great result reflects accomplishment of the District Mission of building new clubs and supporting all clubs in achieving excellence as we’ve grown 10% both in number of clubs and member payments, as well as reaching 85.5% of clubs Distinguished. In fact, we were just 3 clubs away from achieving overall 1st in the world.

In parallel, across the District we’ve built on past successes and learnings from District 71. There’s lots going on behind the scenes to ensure clubs within our District can help their members become more effective communicators and leaders, from organising club officer training, running contests to planning specific events such as training from World Champions to enhance learning opportunities. As we improve the way we do things at club, area, division and district level, it gets easier to involve more people which also helps to spread the load. In addition, one key tool we’ve established was the new D91 member website – with thanks in particular to the drive and enthusiasm of incoming District Director Jean Gamester DTM.

None of this could have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of you, the member. As everyone takes steps along their own journey to be a more effective communicator and leader, this in turn inspires others to take another step. In fact what I feel the most important thing that I’ve learned this year is the power of enthusiasm, positive attitude and momentum. The words themselves are easy to say, however their power comes from application. They really are infectious and help to overcome all kinds of hurdles. I urge you to take the next step on your journey this year.

I look forward to serving the District as Past Division Governor (DG) and helping to identify the next wave of District Leaders to ensure we continue to build on our successes.

I feel very proud to have been first (and last!) DG of D91. It’s been a pleasure to serve you.

Best regards,

Hilary Briggs DTM
Immediate Past District Governor
Toastmasters International
District 91 UK South


Jean Gamester DTM District Director 2015-16

Jean_GamesterMy vision is for us to be collectively inspiring and supportive to all our members in 2015/16.

By doing this we will consistently perform as one of the top districts in the world: benefiting every club and helping members achieve their goals.

Toastmasters are experts at creating confident communicators. Let’s also focus our expertise on developing ourselves and each other into amazing leaders.

In practical terms this means sharing the best of what clubs and members do. This will develop an even stronger shared culture and a desire to take the leadership opportunities Toastmasters has to offer. I look forward to working with you all.

Here are the guiding principles and focus areas that will guide my work as District Director.

Direction and Planning

• Focussing on the long game – 3-5 years rather than just one year. Embedding what has been implemented in the past, ensuring the present is well taken care of and building strength for the future. Driving a culture where it’s expected that we will be a Presidents Distinguished District in 2015/16 and for the years that follow.
• Involving members and officers at all levels in planning and decision making. Working with them to make sure we are focussing on the right priorities so that members achieve their goals and clubs provide a brilliant learning environment. Learning from those within our district and beyond who are doing great things.
• Planning for growth – building on the great work of this year’s new alignment committee, shape the growth of the district for the long term. We will make sure we are ready to realign in a way that works for our clubs, areas and division, and ready to act when the next district reformation is required.

People & Leadership

• Developing a coaching culture where our leaders are empowering and supportive, where there is space to learn and experiment so our leaders can further develop their skills. A culture that understands that we are all volunteers and inspires us to get involved to develop ourselves and support our fellow members.
• Succession planning involving providing encouragement, development and recognition for people at all levels in the district so they develop the confidence and skills to take on new challenges, both in the short term and the long term.
• Providing opportunities for people to get involved – there are lots of ways for people across the district to get involved in driving our Toastmasters mission forward – we will raise awareness of those opportunities and provide support to help them be successful.

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William Hagerup K59 Area Director 2015-16

William Hagerup K59 Area Director

William Hagerup, ACB CL

William came to England from Norway in 1997. A published writer in Norwegian, he is currently writing his second novel in English. He works as Senior Associate Editor for McGraw-Hill Financials in Canary Wharf, and it was through this company’s corporate club, Speakers’ Corner, that William came to Toastmasters in May 2012. He won the Area Humorous Competition that year, became VPE in 2013 and President in 2014. As he takes over as Area Director his focus will be on raising the profile of TM in the public’s mind and ensuring that members are lifted up through quality mentoring.

Clubs in Area K59:
• Speakers’ Corner (William’s home club)
• CitiCriers
• London Trustmasters
• Lewisham Speakers Club
• Meridan Speakers Club
• Stratford London Toastmasters