It is rather late as I write this.  My eyes are barely open- heavy with the desire to sleep.   My office is littered with various papers, emails- and boxes from Toastmasters.  My home is filled with the sounds of saws, hammers as I continue to work on renovations.   Yet I will be up early to steal a few hours with family – and work on one of my pieces of art.  Then, meet a colleague and friend as we drive to Naples.  Our goal is to deliver trophies so that those in Division J will have beautiful statues of gold and silver to award the competitors who won over the hearts and minds of the judges- for that one moment.  As moments go they can be fleeting as time itself.

What is in the speeches that we hear- not just the words of the speech, but the heart and soul of each person who said- let me tell my story.  Be there not just for those you do not know, but for those you get to know through their words-their stories that they are brave enough to share.

It is in these newsletters that I am supposed to let you know what exciting events that are coming your way as a part of District 48.  Yet, no matter where we alert, shout, write, post, tweet, or whatever else we have in the way of resources to let everyone know, somehow, we continue to fail.  Somehow, we miss someone. I am not sure how we can reach everyone if we do not have everyone helping out.

Someone once told me that I do too much and that anyone who comes after me cannot do what I do.  I visit clubs because I knew what it felt like when leadership chooses to visit my club. Even if I did not care for the leadership style, when they would visit, it meant my club was connected to something larger than the club.  When I am visiting, it is a wonderful way to see the phenomenal ways each of us in our own way makes a positive difference in the life of someone else.  Each day I learn new ways to connect and interact with so many people on so many levels that if it were not for Toastmasters and visiting other clubs I will miss. Well, be informed that each of you have made a positive difference in my life.

Leadership is not about being the head “honcho” or anything of the kind.  It means that as leaders we have a greater responsibility than to just ourselves.  Leaders are what each member is, as they choose to introduce someone else into the world of Toastmasters.  We are not without faults, or mistakes. We are however a family, warts and all.  Take care of the words we choose to say or write because they do make a difference and sometimes not a positive one.   Learn to listen and speak with others rather than “at”.   If someone holds out a hand to help, take it graciously and then extend your hand in kind.  The newsletter is filled with incentives, ideas and information.  Don’t just hit delete or not open because of its length.  Take the time to expand your horizon, and you may have the ability to expand on someone else’s.  Listen to the radio show as if we are not able to get sponsorship. April will be its last show.  The District website is moving forward in its design, and is always a great source. Call your Area, Division or even Cathy, Lynn or I. We will most certainly help to guide you on any journey you have- in toastmasters.  March newsletter and radio will be all about the elections.  Until then, your humble servant signs off.

Brenda Alloco, DTM

District 48 Director