Viewpoint: Creating Your Legacy of Leadership

Viewpoint: Creating Your Legacy of Leadership

A popular American legend tells the story of a man who traveled the United States in the early 1800s giving away apple seeds to whoever wanted them, hoping to grow and nurture a love of this fruit across the new American frontier. This legend is not a myth. It is the true story of John Chapman, a nurseryman who introduced apple trees to much of the eastern and midwestern United States. This man, nicknamed Johnny Appleseed, literally planted seeds over 200 years ago that continue to reap dividends today.

How are you at planting seeds? Not vegetable or fruit seeds – but seeds of future leaders?

As Toastmasters leaders, we have two objectives this year during our term of service. The first is to motivate and assist our clubs and members to achieve in the Distinguished Club, Area, Division and District programs. The second is to create a legacy of leadership. How will your club or district succeed once your term of service concludes? Are you building the future leaders of your club or district today? The successes you achieve today are short-lived if they do not last beyond your leadership term.

To build this legacy of leadership, all you have to do is plant seeds. How does this happen? You plant seeds of encouragement with your fellow Toastmasters. You plant seeds of belief, support and faith. Help your fellow members realize the potential they do not yet see or believe for themselves.

When I joined Toastmasters in February 1995, I was focused on earning what was then called the Competent Toastmaster award (now titled Competent Communicator). When May arrived, my fellow club member, Susan Lannis, suggested I run for Vice President Education. I had no plans to serve as a club officer. With her supportive words at the end of a club meeting, Susan planted a seed that began my leadership journey in Toastmasters. Thank you, Susan!

Whatever your role in Toastmasters, whether you are a new or veteran member, plant seeds today. Let me plant seeds for you right now. If this message speaks to you – the seed is planted. You will be a superb...Club President, Area Governor, District Governor, Region Advisor Marketing, International Director, International President, Accredited Speaker, World Champion of Public Speaking or Distinguished Toastmaster. I believe in you! Now, believe in yourself!

Mahatma Gandhi said: “You are no followers but fellow students, fellow pilgrims, fellow seekers, fellow workers.” Fellow Toastmasters – start building your legacy of leadership today. Your legacy begins now!

Gary Schmidt, DTM
International President