By Tom Pfeifer, ACS
Are you a legacy Toastmaster, possibly trying to earn your DTM before all of Toastmasters goes to Pathways? Have you also logged into Pathways, completed your assessment, chosen a path and presented your Pathways icebreaker?
If not, are you worthy of calling yourself a leader? Are you worthy of that DTM?
I ask, because if you have not completed the first steps in Pathways you cannot mentor new Toastmasters who have no choice but to enter the Pathways program. I ask, because in the past week I shepherded two new members through their assessment and through choosing a path. Neither are my mentees. One doesn’t even share membership in any of my clubs. Their mentors apparently are legacy Toastmasters because they did not guide them through the Pathways process. One new Toastmaster has been waiting patiently for her promised Competent Communicator manual to arrive in the mail. (It ain’t coming.)
What kind of legacy are we leaving if we are not, or cannot, guide our new Toastmasters through their Toastmasters journey?
Before you accuse me of being obnoxiously full of myself (which I may be, but that’s beside the point), let me confess that two weeks ago I would not have been able to guide those two new Toastmasters through the process either. I’m a legacy junky working to earn my DTM before the clock runs out.
But at the December District 27 Executive Committee (DEC) meeting, discussion turned to why the district seems to have such low Pathways participation. We were one of the first districts to roll out Pathways and should be serving as a model for the new program. The DEC consists of the district’s top leadership team, including the division directors. I asked for a show of hands of those who had not yet taken the assessment, chosen a path and completed their icebreaker. Admittedly, mine was one of several hands raised. I then challenged your leaders to take at least that step in Pathways.
I took my own challenge and the next week presented my icebreaker in the Innovative Planning path. Two weeks later I saw the value of that challenge when I guided two Toastmasters in two days to begin their Pathways journey.
Now I broaden that challenge to all legacy Toastmasters. The future is in your hands. You can continue your legacy track — I certainly am — but by completing your Pathways assessment, choosing a path and presenting your icebreaker you’ll be in a better position to lead the new Toastmasters in your clubs.
Let that be your legacy.
Tom Pfeifer (ACS) is the District 27 Administration Manager; Vice President of Education for APS Advanced Toastmasters, which meets at 6:45 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month in Room 77 of Annandale High School, 4700 Medford Drive, Annandale, Virginia; Vice President of Membership for Burgay Advanced Toastmasters, which meets at 7 p.m. the second Monday of the month in Room 320 of Annandale High School; and a member of GUTS Toastmasters, which meets at 8 a.m. Saturdays at the United Baptist Church of Annandale, 7100 Columbia Pike, Annandale, Virginia.