The part of the Toastmasters Educational Program focusing on leadership skills, as distinct from the Communication Track, which focuses on communication skills. The four awards in the Leadership Track, Competent Leader, Advanced Leader Bronze, and Advanced Leader Silver recognize continued effort and progressive levels of accomplishment in acquiring such skills.
The Competent Leader program gives you an opportunity to learn and practice leadership skills by serving in club roles. It will help you gain self-confidence and skills that will help you in many ways: academically, professionally and personally. The Competent Leadership Manual offers training in time management, organization, planning and critical thinking—all of which can be applied to everyday life.
Advocating the Leadership Track
Consider this: If the Competent Leadership program can help a club run more efficiently and successfully, and it can also help club members to improve their lives, why wouldn’t your club leaders pursue it? Sometimes, a little promotion from a fellow Toastmaster can help smooth the way. In case you’re finding it a little difficult to get the ball rolling with your Vice President Education or other officers, here are ten quick tips from Toastmasters members that you can use to help promote the Competent Leadership program:
- At each club meeting, have one member assigned as the Evaluator for the Competent Leadership program. By having an assigned evaluator, you ensure member progress in the Competent Leadership program.
- Increase member awareness by requiring that members bring their Competent Leadership Manual to every club meeting.
- Does your club have a sample copy of the Competent Leadership Manual on display at every meeting? Keeping an extra copy on hand means you’ll have one available for guests to peruse or for new members to borrow.
- Make sure that you recognize your members when they participate in the Competent Leadership program. Award a member with a ribbon when she’s halfway through, and make an announcement when that person completes the program. Let her know you appreciate the special care and preparation that she took with each meeting role.
- Encourage the President and Vice President Education of your club to promote the Competent Leadership program at each club meeting. Emphasize how the manual functions as a valuable learning tool—training each member on the different roles of the meeting and helping them build beneficial skills for the working world and daily life.
- Place equal importance on the Leadership Track and Communication Track in your club by including accreditations for both tracks in all correspondence, agendas and programs for your club.
- Use the Competent Leadership Achievement Chart! Post it on the wall during meetings and keep it up to date. Draw attention to the successes listed on the chart.
- For every speech a member gives, your club can request that he perform and receive evaluations on at least three meeting roles.
- Does your club have a newsletter or Web site? Post a reminder to members to bring their manuals. Also, your club can post a congratulatory list of those who have completed the program.
- Ask each member who achieves the Competent Leadership award to mentor a new member in the program.
These tips will help make the Competent Leadership program a natural and easy part of your club’s meetings. When the Competent Leadership program is second nature to the members of your club, you’ll be pleasantly and easily learning leadership skills that help you every day.
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