I recently saw this quote by Franklin P. Jones, a Philadelphia reporter, public relations executive and humorist: “Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.” My time as the president of Gelfand Good Morning Toastmasters has given me great leadership experiences, but I have made mistakes along the way. Some of them I hope not to make again; nevertheless, they have taught me good life lessons.
I’ve learned that as a leader I should set the tone for exhibiting team spirit. Here at Gelfand, none of us can do it alone. It is my duty to ensure that my other board and club members receive the aid they need to succeed at whatever role they play. I have also learned that I must delegate projects to others and empower them to get the job done. Yet, as the leader, I should hold each one of us accountable for getting that job done. I’ve also learned that some decisions are better left to a few and some to the general membership. This provides for less confusion and faster decision-making. Now, whenever I have a decision to make, I think first about the good of the club and how each decision may impact the club and its members.
We will conduct our club elections on May 19, 2012, and a new club president will be elected. My advice to this person will be to keep in mind what is best for the club and to put one’s ego aside. Never take anything personally, and always communicate openly and honestly with your board and club members. Most importantly, show them that you care about them and their success.
Yours truly (learning and growing),
Marlene M. Bryan, CC, ALB