Monday, June 20, 2011

A Toastmaster President’s Farewell Speech

Leadership by example, these are the keywords of a president. For the past year I have done my best to emulate these words. It wasn’t always easy. There were times when I didn’t feel like attending meetings, when I’d get frustrated with members who promised something but didn’t deliver or when I just didn’t feel like being a leader. But in the past year, I’ve learned that leaders couldn’t be ruled by their emotions. Otherwise, the club would suffer.

According to leadership expert John Maxwell, if you can’t carry the ball you won’t lead the team. There were times during my term when I wasn’t sure if what I was doing was right. But I realized that this was normal. No one starts out in something knowing everything about it. You figure it out as you go along. In a way, leading Iligan TMC has helped me find myself. And I have my mentors, the club officers and club members to thank for that. I could never have done it without them.

Being the president of Iligan TMC has taught me so many things. But if I could sum it up in four words it would be vision, attitude, generosity and commitment.

Vision. You achieve only what you can see. Good leaders create a vision and place them continually in front of the members. In my case, I didn’t have to create one. Toastmasters International did that for me. Yes. I’m talking about the Distinguished Club Program. A compelling vision gives your club direction.

Attitude. More specifically, a positive attitude. What you believe, you can achieve. A positive attitude is extremely contagious. I’ve observed that if leaders exhibit a positive attitude the members catch that and the club becomes a constructive environment that fosters growth.

Generosity. It is the job of a leader to give more than they take for the essence of leadership is in putting others first. I observed this first-hand with ACB Nene Legaspi. I noticed how she would always praise and give credit to other people rather than receive it herself. I have tried to emulate this in my own club and I am amazed at how people seem to bloom and grow right before my eyes with just a few words of praise. 

Commitment. People won’t follow uncommitted leaders. I’ve observed that if you want people to follow you, don’t tell them what to do. Show them.
Being the president of Iligan TMC has been an amazing journey. But if I could name one thing that has been instrumental to the club’s success it is teamwork. Without the support of the members of Iligan TMC and the rest of Division F none of this would be possible.

Leading such an incredible club has been a great honor for me. And I want to thank Iligan TMC for trusting me to fill this important position.
As my term ends, I promise to continue to support and serve the club in any way possible.

To the incoming set of officers, I know that with your commitment and ability, this coming year will be even better for Iligan TMC.

To the next president, ACB Mark Grageda, I trust that you will be able to lead the club well. With your skill and superb leadership I know that you will surpass all that the club has achieved in the past year and carve out a new milestone this year.

This has been a great year for Iligan Toastmasters Club. But I know that we can be better. I believe that we are only a fraction of what we can be. Of what we should be. Of what we are meant to be.


Iligan Toastmasters, let’s continue soaring high!

Alessandra Victoria D. Zeta, ACB
Immediate Past President, Iligan Toastmasters Club (2010-2011)
Champion, Evaluation Speech Contest, Discon 2011

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