I’m not just talking through my hat, I was on a conference call with other Toastmaster District Officers last night . The subject of leadership was broached and I was surprised to learn that even in Toastmasters, good leaders are hard to find. I was surprised. Why? Because the purpose of Toastmasters is to create masterful public speakers and train dynamic leaders. He who would be a great leader and doesn’t possess persuasive speaking skills is doomed to fail, and vice versa, one with awesome speaking skills and little leadership ability finds himself talking to an empty house. It is both or nothing.
Willingness, the Missing Element
So why would Toastmasters be concerned with finding good leaders when that is what they are all about? The missing element is willingness.
Where are the Good Candidates?
Every four years I hear the same thing over and over again, “Why can’t we have better choices? Can’t the Republicans and Democrats come up with good candidates? I’d vote if there was a real difference.”
Gaffes Enough to Fill a Book
I look at the hell that political candidates have to traverse to get elected and I wonder what makes them do it. Who in their right minds would want to be President of the United States? Think about it. If every word you utter is recorded, examined and held up to scrutiny, how well would you do? I don’t know about you, but if someone was recording everything I said twenty-four seven, it wouldn’t take long to fill a book with Ruesch gaffes, maybe two books.
Respect the Office
I could be wrong, but in the past weren’t our leaders given at least a little respect? I know for a fact that my father did not vote for John Kennedy, and yet when the President came to town he put all of us in the car and took us to wave at him as he passed by in his black convertible limo. What was it my father used to say, oh yeah, “You may not like the man, and you may not like his politics, but you have to respect the office.”
Right Leader at the Right Time?
Why do I even bring this up? I found myself in front of the television set last week listening to the press conference our new President, Barack Obama, held to encourage congress to get behind his $800 billion dollar economic recovery plan. I was rooting for him. I’m praying that with his leadership the country will band together and solve this mess we are in. I truly hope that he is the right leader, at the right time, to make it happen. My logical-self says that the problems are too big, too ingrained, and the system too corrupted, but my emotional-self says let’s look on the bright side, be positive, and keep digging our way out, day-by-day.
He is Willing
Say what you will about the President, he was at least willing to do the job, and in this day and age, that is really saying something.