Viewpoint: Living the Vision

Viewpoint: Living the Vision

A message from out International President

“Action with vision is making a positive difference.”
– Joel Barker, futurist and scholar

There is a story about John F. Kennedy, the late president of the United States, as he was touring the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and its operations. During the tour, he walked by a man with cleaning supplies. JFK paused and asked him what he did at NASA. The janitor responded that he was “helping to put a man on the moon.”

Do we live our Toastmasters vision in a similar manner? Leaders hold the vision and work to make it a reality. Our vision statement says: “Toastmasters International [you and I] empowers people to achieve their full potential and realize their dreams. Through our member clubs, people throughout the world can improve their communication and leadership skills, and find the courage to change.”

Do we, individually and collectively, provide an environment where people are able to achieve their full potential and realize their dreams? How would our club meetings be different if this happened at every meeting?

Do we stop to think what a member’s full potential could be? Do we know the dreams of each of our club members? If we embody our organization’s vision, we will ensure that our clubs thrive and grow.

While visiting in District 82 in India and Sri Lanka, I saw our Toastmasters vision in action. Members who came to their district governor’s home for information and supplies were treated with respect and hospitality. That household ensured that each member was equipped to achieve their full potential.

Many more Toastmasters take the vision to heart in everything they do. Webster, a man who lives in St. Lucia in District 81, is just such a Toastmaster. He was amazing to watch as he played a pivotal role in a district conference. Webster was everywhere, doing whatever it took to guarantee that all attendees had the best experience possible. He embodied our vision.

Margaret, from District 21, is also someone willing to serve the greater good. She raised her hand when a district conference committee chair was needed. She led her Distinguished District team by providing members with the opportunity to change through communication and leadership development. She had a vision.

Just as the NASA gentleman worked to fulfill the vision statements of his organization, we can make a difference in the lives of our members by fulfilling our Toastmasters vision. When this happens, we are indeed Toastmasters: Achieving Greatness Together. 

Pat Johnson, DTM
International President