I had the honor of being chosen as Park City Toastmasters President this year, to lead our club through another successful year, and to carry Jon Henry’s legacy. Jon who founded Park City Toastmasters, lost his life in a tragic accident last February. As the months go by, we are uncovering more and more of the many things he quietly did to keep our club vibrantly interesting.
How will I carry Jon Henry’s legacy over the next 12 months? I certainly cannot pretend that I am more of a speaker or a better leader than any of our members to successfully lead our club.
Interestingly in French, my mother tongue, there is no translation for leader. The closest is “chef de file”, someone who marches at the front of the line. I don’t perceive leadership this way at all. For me, the art of leadership is about influencing and serving at the same time, more like a shepherd. Leadership is inspiring others into action.
Many of the skills I will use this year, I have acquired at the heart of Park City Toastmasters Club. Here, I have learned how to craft speeches with a solid structure, vivid words and metaphors. I have gained a more sophisticated understanding of the importance of voice and body language in making my point. As a communicator, I have come a long way since my Ice Breaker.
Clear communication is at the heart of good leadership. So are generous listening, trust, value and discipline. I will do my best to bring all these qualities to the plate this year. With Annette Lavoie, Sara Hutchinson, Dianne Cochrane, Jo Henry, Tess Whitty and John Fry, we have already finalized our club’s success plan. We also have themes for each month: these themes, picked out of the Competent Communicator Manual, are the building blocks that will support your journey from good to great.
Although I semi-reluctantly said yes to the Presidency, I promise to lead with passion, to bring this ship to good port and to keep everyone on the boat.
Marielle Pariseau ALB, ACS