By Jan Vecchio DTM, Pathways Chief Ambassador

Being Chief Ambassador for Pathways has its challenges, successes and rewards.  When I was appointed to this role in August 2013, it was to be for 12-18 months.  It is now July 2017. The Ambassador team which was formed in the latter half of 2013 has halved.  Members have walked away because the program has taken too long to implement, some have left Toastmasters altogether.  This has created difficulties with the second round of club visits.  However, I now question whether all clubs need to have a visit.  Initially, they did but today, there is an abundance of information on the Toastmasters International website, in the Toastmasters Magazine and on the District website; District seminars have been held over the last few years and time allocated at Club Leadership Training sessions.  The Pathways information is written in simple terms, for all to read at their own leisure.  Every member in our district, should now have heard about and have basic knowledge of Pathways, either by hearing about it or by reading about it.

Pathways is coming –  there is no stopping it.  And I am excited about it!!!   Developing the program is taking time because WHQ wants the program launched with the least amount of bugs and fixes.  Three districts are now fully operational with Pathways and sharing their experiences via social media.  The comments and the feedback are positive and encouraging.

Can you believe that we have some members who are vehemently opposed to the introduction of a new program?  Think of the many changes you have experienced over the last 10 years, 20 years, ….  50 years. Where would you be if you had not accepted these changes?  How would your life be impacted without advances in the banking industry? Telephones?  Transport? Medicine? Toastmasters International has an obligation to its members to update the education program to the current century and to make sure it meets real world needs.

Have you thought about being a Pathways Guide?   Being a Pathways Guide is your chance to have a rewarding and fulfilling role as a District Leader, assisting members in understanding Pathways.  Toastmasters provides some amazing opportunities for all of us to learn and grow.  The more leadership roles you take up, the more confident you will be as a speaker.  Not taking up leadership roles, means members utilize only 50% of the education program.  You don’t have to be a good communicator to be a leader; engaging in leadership will provide opportunities for you to be a better communicator.

  “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” (Richard Branson).  Toastmasters is a learning organisation, a forum to learn and practice communication and leadership.  Seize the opportunity to do something for yourself and for others.