by Kim Story, DTM
If you have ever received an email from me, then you have seen this quote before. When I think about my Service Journey in Toastmasters, it always comes back to this quote by Mahatma Gandhi. But why is this quote so important to me?
In his book, “How To Win Friends and Influence People”, Dale Carnegie states the principle “Don’t Criticize, Condemn, or Complain”. While his context is about positive interactions with others, I think it is also at the heart of what it means to be a true Servant Leader.
Servants don’t criticize, they analyze. Then they act.
Servants don’t condemn, they commend. Then they construct.
Servants don’t complain, they thank. Then they get to work.
To be of service doesn’t mean that we put our heads in the sand and declare that all is well and everything is “hunky-dory”. To think the status quo is sufficient is not the mark of a servant.
A servant is observant, always looking for opportunities to improve the world around them, without criticizing it. A servant is thankful for all the servants who have gone before and helped bring the world to the place it currently is; then, a servant leads the way by rolling up her sleeves and serving the needs she has identified.
A servant is a person of action.
This became evident to me when I served as the Area 24 Director in 2016-2017. I served 6 clubs in the Coppell and Lewisville areas, but came to realize that my hometown of Coppell, Tx did not have a community club. I felt there was a need for Toastmasters in my hometown. I assembled a team of individuals who felt the same and watched the momentum build.
A year and a half later, in May 2018, the Coppell Toastmasters Club chartered. We have already added an additional 2 members since our charter and continue to receive email inquiries and have visitors at our meetings, even though we haven’t even set up our Free Toast Host website yet!
Every time I talk to someone new about the club they say “I’ve been looking for a Toastmasters Club in Coppell for years. I couldn’t believe we didn’t have one.”
I am so grateful that Toastmasters has given me the opportunity to be of service to my community. This project wasn’t about me. It was about recognizing a need, receiving assistance from other leaders and mentors, and thanking everyone who was a part of this journey. This vision was bigger than me or my ego and that is why it was so successful.
A true Toastmaster is dedicated to Service. Where are you being called to serve?
Be the Change!