Jack Welch, the longtime CEO of General Electric, once said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
We, as Toastmasters leaders, from club president to International President, would be wise to adopt that same philosophy. Passion is the fuel that drives commitment—it’s a fire within. It motivates us and keeps us focused.
Why are you a Toastmaster? Is it just to earn a few certificates, hold a leadership position or tick off a few boxes on your “to do” list? Have you taken time to seriously think through and write down your personal goals? Practically every member I know says Toastmasters is life-changing, but many lack the passion to spread the word or use their newly developed skills outside Toastmasters.
If you believe Toastmasters has changed or dramatically improved your life, tell others about it. If you become a successful Toastmasters leader, use those skills in your personal and professional life. Add some passion to make a difference in your life, and in the lives of those around you. Get involved at school or in your community, volunteer at a local prison or in a troubled neighborhood, conduct a Youth Leadership program or Speechcraft and help others develop new skills.
“Add some passion to make a difference in your life, and in the lives of those around you.”
I recently marveled at Swiss tennis champ Roger Federer, who in January at the age of 36 won the Australian Open, one of the sport’s elite Grand Slam tournaments. The triumph gave him a record 20 Grand Slam titles in his long and storied career. That man personifies passion. He has it all: money, records, fame and a great family. Why keep playing? Because he loves the sport.
To reignite your passion for Toastmasters, or other interests in life, identify your purpose, talents and needs. Purpose is the reason for doing something. It is essential. Write down your purpose for Toastmasters, for working, saving, learning and everything else of value you do. Discovering the purpose for doing something makes it more meaningful and easier to sacrifice to achieve it; it keeps you focused on the goal.
Identifying your talents is a key to success. We all have talents that make us unique, and Toastmasters enhances them. Our personal needs are a strong internal force that helps us improve our lives. Satisfying our own needs first is a common human trait, and one of the best-known theories of motivation.
“Find your passion, whatever it may be,” said American writer T. Alan Armstrong. “Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen for you, to you and because of you.”
BALRAJ ARUNASALAM, DTM