Frank Tsuro, DTM

Frank Tsuro, DTM

Candidate's Office: International Director

Region Number: 11

Toastmasters member since: 2012

Education: BCompt. Accounting Science (University of South Africa), Certified Professional Coach

Employer and/or position: Self-employed Leadership Development Consultant

Served as District Director of District number: 74

Term of service: 2018 - 2019

In term as District Director, District achieved: Smedley Distinguished


Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international-, region-, and District-level):

  • 2019-2020 Toastmasters International Board Committee on District Excellence
  • 2021-2022 Region Advisor, Region 11

Toastmasters honors and recognition (international- and District-level):

  • 2016-2017 Excellence in Club Growth
  • 2017-2018 Excellence in Program Quality
  • 2018-2019 Smedley Distinguished District

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board Member:

As a self-employed Leadership Development Consultant, my work is at the intersection of strategy, leadership and helping organisations build adaptive teams (i.e., teams that know how to deal with unknown challenges). My experience in working with and coaching leadership teams across industries has given me exposure to a variety of ways of overcoming business challenges and resolving conflict. These experiences will be of benefit, especially when serving on Board Committees, which is a defined responsibility of Board Members.

Through my consulting career, I have experience working with executives in different roles, industries, and countries, which has provided me with an understanding of diversity. I also help my clients better understand and lead their diverse teams. This experience is valuable to an international organisation such as Toastmasters.

I also have experience in change management in the software space. This will contribute positively to the organisation as we navigate through changes in the coming decade.

As a financial accountant, I worked with for profit and non-profits in a highly volatile economic environment. This experience will assist in setting financial policies, monitoring financial outcomes, and understanding budgetary needs, all of which are responsibilities of a Board member.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

As a business strategy consultant for 7 years, I facilitate multi-year business strategies for various organisations including government and multinationals. I also evaluate strategy and assist leaders with strategy alignment and fulfilment.

In Toastmasters, I contributed to the multi-year strategy and plan in place in our district to create 2 healthy districts by July 2024, which we are on-track to achieve. Subsequently, I was invited to serve on the Toastmasters International Board's Committee on District Excellence where we reviewed and consolidated the strategies and tactics that have given us positive results in different parts of the Toastmasters globe.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

As an accountant I have experience in creating budgets, managing cash-flows, tax compliance and balance sheet management in corporate and non-profit organisations.

As Head of the Data Department in an investor relations firm that housed the largest library of financials of listed companies in Africa, I reviewed financial data and performance for a variety of listed companies. This exposed me to different financial and business models and gave me a deep understanding of financial statements.

What experience do you have in developing policies?

I worked as an accountant in a highly volatile economic environment, where we constantly had to review and formulate policy that would enable us to comply with government directives as well as meeting our client's needs.

As a consultant I advise multinational companies on policy that supports their business interests, and I have also developed policy for non-profits.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

  1. Vision comes from listening to others' experiences, including those of co-workers, clients, and other stakeholders, in addition to one's own.
  2. The importance of humility. As Nelson Mandela put it, when you make people realise that you are no threat to them, then people will embrace you.
  3. Courage is critical. It provides the drive to make a difference, more so than vision or authenticity.
  4. Success is in the succession. Our future depends on the leaders that we develop and train today to sustain our success.

What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?

I personally understand third world problems and bring a unique perspective that will help the Board in better appreciating the challenges faced by members in these countries.

Spending much of my adult life in a volatile economic and political environment has given me the resilience needed to successfully lead an organisation in an uncertain world.

In my business, I help clients diagnose and develop solutions to their problems. In some cases, I also help thriving businesses define what has made them successful. I will use my experience to better the Toastmasters International Board's capacity to not only identify and address issues but also to uphold the values that have propelled us to success.

Why do you want to serve as an International Officer/Director?

  1. I want to help the Board grow its relationship with members, staff, and other stakeholders as we work together towards achieving our envisioned future.
  2. To use my policy development experience to enhance policy formulation and evaluate its effectiveness.
  3. Representation. As a millennial and African I represent demographics that are key to our organisation's future.

What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?

I started volunteering at the age of 8 years as a Cub Scout. This is where the values of service before self and working with others to solve problems were first entrenched.

I served as Secretary for our Interact Club (youth Rotaract) under Rotary International where we raised more than US$20,000 per annum in fundraising for our community service projects.

I actively volunteered at St Catherine's Special School for disadvantaged children with special learning needs. I was responsible for fundraising which was largely used for school fees and providing for other learning needs.

I volunteered at Inspire Zimbabwe Foundation; a non-profit organisation dedicated to making capacity building accessible to all Zimbabweans.

Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters? If so, describe your experience.

I currently serve as the Chairman of the Advisory Board for The Entrepreneur's Hub, an organisation dedicated to transforming the plight of the African through the development of enterprise.

In my consulting work, I have supported Managing Directors and CEOs to improve their working relationship with their board, helping them manage expectations and handle conflict between them.

In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

Toastmasters exists to empower individuals personally and professionally. Done well, this positions us to be the first-choice provider of highly dynamic communication and leadership development programmes. I concur with the objectives stated in the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan for the following reasons:

  • Club excellence is essential to creating an environment in which members can thrive. Our club mission has been at the forefront of shaping our organisational culture and identity long before the world recognised the importance of psychological safety in achieving high performance. We should take every opportunity to ensure that club leaders understand the importance of the club mission as the foundation for achieving excellence. Helping clubs define a (business) model for how they deliver unique value to their target members is another idea that I have found that works in improving club quality.
  • Member Achievement is central to our existence. The biggest lesson I learned from the members who benefited greatly from the organisation is that none of them joined Toastmasters to become a Pathways expert but to use the skills they learnt from Pathways to improve personally and professionally. As a result, in addition to highlighting the transferrable skills we get through participation in our programme, I would give greater prominence and attention to the non-Toastmasters goals of our members during orientation and mentorship. This gives added motivation for our members to participate more in the Toastmasters programme to achieve their personal and professional goals. Following that, I am an advocate of constantly finding more ways to increase the organisation's acknowledgment of its achievers because what is rewarded tends to be repeated.
  • Awareness and Engagement are important as organisations either grow or regress. We can expand our reach beyond organic growth with a clearly defined marketing plan and a clear growth strategy in many markets. With the rise of social media and the high value placed on social proof by consumers, we must decentralise our marketing initiatives and give our districts the assistance they need to increase brand awareness and engagement. As Region Advisor, I advised Public Relations Managers not to view each other as competitors. Instead, I urged them to work together, beginning with collaborating and co-creating their respective Communications and Public Relations Plans. Then, I encouraged them to adapt the plans into their locale by using graphics with local faces, local languages whilst communicating one message of the benefits of Toastmasters.
  • Operational Effectiveness when attained may go unnoticed, but when it isn't, it leaves us with little hope of delivering our value. It is a priority to find new sources of income (for example, by offering dynamic educational programs tailored to various membership personas and demographics) and to investigate creative ways to expand our resource base (for example, by partnering with our talented members). This will aid World Headquarters in delivering on-time, equitable service globally. By providing World Headquarters with the tools, framework, and talent it needs and holding them accountable to honest deliverables, member satisfaction is enhanced.
  • Leadership Bench is one objective I would add that is not included in the plan. Success is in the succession, as I indicated in one of my lessons learnt. By strengthening our leadership selection, structure, training, evaluation, and culture, we can assist the organisation to realise its envisioned future. We already have a place to start with the underutilised Leadership Excellence Series, which we can use to create a foundational training programme to foster the leadership skills necessary to have more effective Area Directors, trio members, Board members, and other officers of the organisation. This would amplify our tagline "Where Leaders Are Made". The organisation can benefit in the interim from a flexible structure that enables our leadership structures to outsource missing skills, such as inviting specialists from our membership or from outside sources to supplement and support our existing officers' work in training, strategy and other change initiatives.

Additional information about candidate:

I come from a beautiful country but one ravaged by poor leadership. This is why I made leadership development my business. Despite all the labels that can be used to describe me, I am dedicated to helping people Live Fully Anywhere through my mission to develop 100,000 honest leaders. All the work that I do in business including my volunteer experience in Toastmasters is aligned to this mission.