Whew! This weekend was destined to be a whirlwind of projects and activity, but it ended up being far more than I counted on.
Let me back up. For the last two years I have served District 2 Toastmasters International as a Lt. Governor. I have created new Toastmasters clubs, strengthened weaker clubs, trained officers, organized and facilitated conferences, given numerous reports and speeches, and generally made some hard decisions. Leadership is not always easy.
District 2 held its Spring conference at the Skagit Valley Resort this past weekend. Part of my responsibility this year has been to see that this conference went off without a hitch. Last week was crunch week–the last few days leading up to the conference (which I hope explains why there were no blog posts last week). As many of you know, when planning a conference that includes contests, keynotes, awards, break-out sessions, and business meetings, there is alot to coordinate.
I had also decided several months ago that I would run for District Governor. I have been putting in many hours, and operating on little sleep as I’ve worked on putting a team together of volunteers that I hope to generally make my “job” easier. I was running un-opposed, which made my time burden a little lighter, and allowed me more time to fully concentrate on the conference. That is….until the day before the conference. At 2:00pm on Thursday, a candidate came forward to proclaim her intention to run against me from the floor.
“UGH!, Seriously? Like I don’t have enough to worry about?” Those were a few of the nicer thoughts I was having. My biggest frustration came from the fact that I would now have to focus on a campaign. How could I come up with a campaign in less than 24 hours? I didn’t have the time, the money, or the band-width to do so. “UGH!”
I started making phone calls and sending emails. My heart was beating faster, I was becoming flushed, and I could feel the physical results of stress. This was not going to be good, because I had already been feeling like I was “coming down with something”. As an aside, when I get sick or overly stressed, I break out in hives. It has happened consistently for the last 15 years of my life. How could I run a good campaign with red blotches on my face and arms. (At least I could cover up most of it with clothing).
Even with all that going on, my focus had to be the conference. THAT was my main responsibility. The election was secondary to what I had been commissioned to do. There were people who were counting on a good conference. Whatever I could pull together for the campaign would have to be good enough.
Then, the most wonderful thing happened. Someone that I respect with all my heart called to ask if I needed a campaign manager, and if so, she would do that for me. I was so touched. At that point, the results of the election didn’t matter to me. What mattered is that this person, and so many others supported ME. I could die happy right then. That was all that I needed to know.
Throughout the tasks of putting on the conference, I continuously reflected inwardly about my abilities. I had to come up with a campaign speech–a speech that would have to cover up for the lack of preparedness I felt in campaigning. What a wonderful opportunity. I guess if we don’t take time to think about our accomplishments and blessings, somehow fate will force it upon us. It was happening to me now.
“What have I really done for the District?” I asked myself. “What do my constituents (club officers) really need to hear from me?” “What can they expect from my performance as Governor?”
When the time came, I gave what others have referred to as, “an amazing speech”; “so motivating”; “powerful and moving.” I felt good about it, too.
To my opponent I say, “Thank you!” Thank you for giving me the opportunity to discover my own self-worth, and the worth I have in the site and mind of others. That doesn’t happen every day, and it was exactly what I needed. I was able to, for the first time, share my true voice and recognize my value to an organization that has given so much to me. Thank you!
I am the District 2 Governor-Elect for the 2012-2013 Toastmaster year! But I am so much more that just ONE VOICE.
Please take a moment to watch this 3 minute video. It sums up my feelings of this past weekend. And will remind me often as to why I wanted to be the District 2 Governor.