Experience and Academic Background
My background is in Finance, IT and Organization Development. Having a nose for numbers, an appreciation for technology, and a love of driving effectiveness inside organizations, I have a great deal of experience in the core competencies needed for all the roles in District Leadership. I earned a Masters degree in Leadership from the University of Guelph in 2012. It was here that I was given the Kathryn Huget Leadership Award. My thesis was a research study into what gets women promoted in a corporate environment. So I’ve studied leadership both from a theoretical and practical level.
Other educational credentials include a diploma in Computer Programming & Systems from DeVry Institute, and a diploma in Adult Education and Training from OISE/University of Toronto.
Certifications include various vendor programs such as 7 Habits, Situational Leadership II, Managing Organizational Transition, and Balanced Scorecard. I am also one of a handful of Canadians certified and registered as a Myers-Briggs Master Practitioner.
In my facilitation career, I had the incredible to work with Franklin Covey, and with Dr. Stephen Covey himself. In 2006 I was selected as one of ten facilitators from around the world to launch his new leadership program based on his newest book at the time, The 8th Habit. This experience continues to be a highlight of my career.
As a person who has started small businesses and other support organizations, being able to see into the future and define a strategy is a necessity. From identifying a need in the marketplace, to promoting the solution, to executing on the vision, this is something I’ve done a lot of. It is here that my experience teaching Strategy and Execution to leaders has helped me tremendously.
If you look at my credentials page, you’ll see an image of the Vision Banner I created when I was Division G Governor. I rallied possibly the BEST team of Area Governors in the District and through strategic execution of our vision, we took Division G from the last place Division in terms of performance, to second place. My tag line to try to motivate everyone was “Worst to First” and through small steps and focusing on the individual members (sound familiar) we were able to achieve great success. So yes, it is about being a great strategic thinker, but it’s also about being able to execute against the strategy. That’s the more challening part.
Team Building, Team Management and Collaboration
Well, I might be preaching to the choir here, but anyone who has been around Toastmasters for any length of time and has participated in the opportunities to take on leadership roles, has this in spades. I’ve been around for 26 years and I’ve had more than my fair share of leadership opportunities. From conference committees to executive committees, successful growth only comes when you really learn to collaborate with others. Yes, I’ve done this.
Inspiring and Motivating Members
I call myself a Toastmasters Evangelist because quite literally, Toastmasters changed my life. If you are like me, then a life-changing event in your life is something that you will share, sometimes ad nauseum, with anyone willing to listen. Next time you see me, just ask me about contests. If you’ve never entered one, then I’ll bet when you’re done talking to me about the value of contest participation, you’ll never let another contest go by.
The ability to inspire others is all about helping them believe in the potential they have inside them. I truly believe that every single one of us has untapped potential, and it’s the leaders of the world who are responsible for bringing that out in people. Well guess what?!? You and I are the leaders of today, and tomorrow. It is our job to help others be the best they can be and the Toastmasters experience accomplishes that like no other organization on the planet.
I’m an Introvert, and speaking to people does not come naturally to me. It never did. People who meet me for the first time sometimes have a hard time believing I’m an introvert, but what they see is a 25-year+ work in progress. Toastmasters taught me EVERYTHING I needed to know to come out of my shell and communicate more effectively with people. No one is perfect, and I still consider myself to be a work in progress, but the journey has been an absolute blast and I would change a thing about it!
Let’s talk about change.
2017/2018 will be a year of tremendous change for Toastmasters around the world. With the introduction of the new Pathways education program, to the possible reformation of our District, this role will be about driving club growth in the midst of chaotic times.
Dealing with change is an area where I believe I excel because I’ve had experience throughout my career and my life dealing with change, as many of us have. As you can tell from my career path, I’ve had some unique experiences making major shifts in life. I’ve worked for myself and as of July 1st I will be the head of a new company that does leadership training for executives. So you could say I’ve been knee deep in leadership, leadership training, and leadership issues for many years.
As an author, I have several titles to my credit:
- The Ruby Report; How Organizations Can Profit by Promoting Women Leaders
- Powerful Presentations (previously carried in the Toastmaster Supply Catalogue)
- Powerful Presentations for Women
- 10 Principles Every CEO Must Know to Play and Win
- Leadership Gurus Speak Out
Other items I have written or created include:
- Ten Commandments of Ethical Leadership; article series
- Powerful Presentations Self-Study Guide
- Rules are Made to be Broken; Audio program with Ross Mackay
I actually auditioned for the Dragon’s Den TV show. Although I didn’t make it past the first level, and never had a chance to face Kevin O’Leary, it was an incredible experience just preparing to face the panel of high-rollers.