By Chuck Mencke, DTM
“A mentor said, ‘Let’s go do it,’ not ‘You go do it.’ How powerful when someone says ‘Let’s!’” – Jim Rohn, Entrepreneur and Motivational Speaker
I feel there has not been enough emphasis placed on mentoring within the Toastmasters educational and leadership programs. With Pathways, I am pleased to see mentoring is finally in the spotlight. If you haven’t started Pathways, you will soon discover, no matter which path you’ve selected, you must complete “Introduction to Mentoring” as a requirement of Level 2. After you have completed Level 2, you will then have the option to activate the “Pathways Mentor Program,” a separate, structured program outside of the current paths. You will be able earn the designation of Pathways Mentor. I highly recommend you do this. We need more dedicated trained mentors!
I have been privileged to have three incredible mentors, Bonne Stroman, Diana Patton and Marylee Mims, that have been with me on my Toastmasters Journey. Over the years each one has exhibited a special quality in our mentoring sessions.
Bonne taught me the true meaning of being a servant leader.
Diana taught me to be on task, stick to it and follow through on what you say you will do.
Marylee taught me ethics, gentle persistence and patience.
These incredible servant leaders have given so much of themselves to me and to the betterment of the members of District 25. They continue to give of themselves each day. I am the servant leader I am today because of the effect my mentors had on me. They left me with an invaluable gift: the desire to “pay it forward,” mentoring and inspiring those around me.
I challenge you to be a mentor and make a difference in a member’s experience and their personal journey. As a mentor, create excitement, identify and develop that “spark” within your mentee, and most of all, keep them engaged within their clubs. Enthusiasm is contagious and can spread through a club like wildfire. That’s what we all want – clubs that are on fire!
One last thought, if you are new to Toastmasters or have been a member for a while, and you don’t have a mentor, contact your club’s Vice President of Education or check with a member you admire and ask them to be your mentor. Your Toastmasters journey will be enriched. Soon you too will be able to “pay it forward” to others.