Basecamp as shown on computer screen

Reflections of a Pathways guide: Managing change, managing a ride

Change is not easy. The change I confronted as a Pathways guide is akin to adjusting to my innovative car.

Illustration: Computer with Base Camp

Pathways is Toastmasters’ new educational program that supports members journey of personal and professional development. District 27 began to implement the Pathways program last March.

Initially, I resisted the role of a Pathways Guide, but I acquiesced to repeated pleas for help. I discovered that my digital orientation with the features of a new car was like my orientation with the Toastmasters International website Navigator and Base Camp that act as the engine of Pathways. Base Camp propels a smoother ride for a member’s educational and leadership journey towards success.

As a Pathways Guide I am like the service team responsible for maintenance of my car because I work as part of a larger organization to support members customize learning and professional growth.

Rather than the smooth ride of driving my new car, advocating transition to Pathways was like driving over a series of speed bumps and potholes on an icy road. Still, I focused on the destination and support from the staff at Toastmasters International’s World Headquarters helped me stay the course.

Four key lessons emerged from my journey:

  • Anticipate resistance
  • Strategically frame the change
  • Own the change
  • Maintain the plan

I am glad to be part of a service team fostering a smooth journey towards the Pathways destination.

J. Carlos Velázquez, DTM, is a Pathways Guide and Dean of the District 27 Toastmasters Leadership Institute. He also is the Vice President of Education for
Crystal City Evening Toastmasters.

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