Toastmasters has, since it began, taken individuals and made them both different and better. It is an organization which has as its primary purpose, this commitment to personal development.
In 2005 I joined this remarkable organisation, and I have been on many journeys including becoming World Champion of Public Speaking in 2009. On that journey, I honed my writing and speaking skills. These I blended with a passion for raising bonsais as a hobby to write my first book, THE VOICE OF THE BONSAI – A Conversation on Leadership.This book analyses nine leadership behaviours from the perspective of the relationship between the Bonsai Master and his/her trees.
The Conversation is between the Master and the Bonsai as they share their thinking about what it is to be the Mater, and what it is to be the Bonsai. I have used my speech writing skills developed in Toastmasters to write this conversation. These conversations have also been recorded on a CD.
The Learning is the section in which I call upon my 30 years as a leader. This leadership was realized in schools, on Boards and as a leader in our organization and in the disability sector. The purpose of this section of each chapter is to develop and challenge the reader’s thinking about the leadership behaviour that is the focus of that chapter.
As Toastmasters we know the value of storytelling. I have used this important genre to support the learning that is the focus of the chapter. By using Stories primarily from my school leadership position, I have sought to develop a deeper understanding on the chapter topic.
The final section is The Exercise. I have always identified primarily as an educator – a teacher, and so I could not let the opportunity go to have readers interact with the focus of the chapter by asking them to think on their own behaviours.
While there are many books written on the subject of leadership, this book is innovative in its approach, calling upon both my leadership experience and my experience as a speaker.
We are all leaders in this organization of ours. This book may support you in your leadership journey.
The launch of this book will be on the 3rd of August on the Gold Coast. Numbers are limited so let me know early should you wish to attend.
Both the book and the CD are now available, and can be obtained by contacting Mark on firstname.lastname@example.org .