Which is more important: integrity, respect, service or excellence?
Sometimes members ask which of our organization’s four core values is most important. Of course, none takes precedence over the others. Each one is equally important for members and all leaders.
A discussion around core values can make for a very good round of Table Topics in your club. Our core values align closely with those of other organizations, and questions related to these and similar values sometimes come up during job interviews. Here I’ll offer some thoughts on these four values.
What does integrity mean in our clubs? For every member, integrity means living up to the Toastmasters promise. That promise includes attending club meetings regularly, preparing for meeting assignments, helping maintain a positive environment, bringing guests to club meetings so they can see the benefits of Toastmasters membership, and maintaining honest and ethical standards during the conduct of all Toastmasters activities.
For club members respect means understanding that each member is a person with his or her own skills and abilities, goals and ambitions, and strengths and weaknesses.
For club leaders, integrity also means focusing on members’ needs and achievements in our program.
Respect? For club members respect means understanding that each member is unique, possessing certain skills and abilities, goals and ambitions, and strengths and weaknesses. For club leaders it also means understanding that each member is developing at his or her own pace, and while some may need a gentle push from time to time, others need space to develop.
Service? For club members service means stepping up when required to help the club function as a stellar learning environment for the benefit of all members. For club leaders service also means focusing on the planning and delivery of an environment and a varied program conducive to member achievement.
Excellence? For club members excellence means performing assigned duties to the best of our ability every time. Sometimes we have bad days, and sometimes we have less time to prepare than we might like. Regardless, excellence means performing to the best of our ability every time for the benefit of the club and all the members. For club leaders excellence relates directly to our organization’s strategic plan and to providing an atmosphere of club excellence that enables member achievement.
Values drive culture. Values drive action. Our Toastmasters core values enable club excellence and member achievement. I hope all of our clubs take the opportunity to discuss our core values during a round of Table Topics.
JIM KOKOCKI, DTM