Thirty members of the Cherry Creek Toastmasters club in Denver, Colorado, stood outside the building of our backup meeting place, milling around the sidewalk at 6:55 a.m. in early June. Once a year our club must vacate its regular meeting place in favor of preparations for a fundraiser.
Already, there were rumblings about canceling the meeting. Our past president was trying to contact someone with a key. Several members suggested alternative locations—a nearby park, a private home or a convenient breakfast place. The Toastmaster of the day was on time and ready to go. She looked at me with an uncertain smile. We had speakers prepared and ready to go. As club president, they were looking to me for direction.
It was just barely after seven when the sergeant at arms—without tables, chairs or electrical outlets—called the meeting to order. Like a well-trained race horse, the meeting was out of the gate and running, full steam ahead. Without walls and only grass for a floor, we wrapped ourselves in the familiar structure of the Toastmasters meeting agenda.
This event has become one of my fondest memories of my term in office. It was a poignant demonstration of the adage that leaders are not born. They are made. And so, I challenge you to discover the unplanned satisfactions of leadership by becoming an officer in your club.
Robert William Case, ACG, ALB lives in Denver, Colorado, where he writes, presents keynotes and workshops, and serves on several nonprofit boards. He’s been an active member of Cherry Creek Toastmasters in Denver since 2010 and served as club president in 2016.