I’ve been to a few TLI’s over the years. They’ve all been good, but this TLI seemed extra-ordinary. TLI Chair Cam Hoang and her team delivered a well-organized event from food to facilities, printed materials to the bookstore. All 225 attendees were registered, catered to and at 8:20am ready to reap the benefits of the day.
With all in order, Pavan Datla, Program Quality Director, kicked the meeting off then invited Francoise Muller, District 101 Director, to the stage. Francoise implored us to embrace the Pathways program. She drew an analogy between spending a day in her driveway studying all the buttons in her new car and using this same focused exploratory approach in the Pathways interface. Brilliant! As someone who has just completed Level1, a personal multi-month endeavor of fits and starts in the interface, this was sage advice worth heeding. My TLI journey had begun.
During Pres Vasilev’s entertaining keynote speech he shared his personal methods and mentors’ advice on practicing for and delivering his World Champion Speech; how he recorded and listened to his speech repeatedly on his headphones; how he practiced his speech on anyone who would listen, from a cab driver to his multiple clubs; how his mentors helped him improve pronunciation, word choice, timing, and speech structure; and how he learned to speak from the heart not just the head.
All of his learnings were little gems for the audience. Each a special treasure to take home and experiment with ourselves. However, the real take-away was the enduring message he wove throughout the speech, delivered each time with the same gesture to reinforce the message: “that’s what we’re here for…helping one another”. Inspirational!
Energized from Pres’s speech and Francoise’s call to action I bounded into the President’s Officer Training. It was a mastermind session led by Dave Spence. Ideas were shared, and the interactive discussion provided us with new approaches to lead our clubs in the most positive, supportive & encouraging environments. For me the take-away was “Vision”. While my home club is on track to achieve President’s Distinguished Club, a longer-term vision would serve us well. Powerful!
After Officer Training I faced the difficult decision of choosing an educational session. I wanted to take them all! In the end I decided on Ken Braly’s Pathways and Kristian Crump’s Evaluation sessions. The former was transformational. It was like someone lifted the veil and I could finally navigate Pathways clearly. Not so much because it is that difficult to navigate, but rather a few quick tips seemed to eliminate the intimidation and confusion I had formerly experienced. It was liberating.
The other great take-away from Ken’s training was learning the Basecamp Manager features for Club Presidents, VPE’s and Secretaries. Empowering! (After the TLI I spent hours surfing the pathways interface. I implore each of you to do the same. Ken shared his website kenb.com/pathways, a great place to clear up any confusion you may personally be feeling about the interface.)
Kristian taught us how to use his “Roadmap to Success” evaluation template and shared strategies on delivering quality feedback using sentences like “You effectively communicated when you…”, “Why this works so well is because…”; and ways of addressing the speaker and the audience during an evaluation. The experiential exercises reinforced our learnings. Motivational!
At the bottom of Kristian’s “Roadmap to Success” template is the section “Lasting Impression (finish here)”. To that end…
My lasting impression of the TLI is one of gratitude! As Pres eloquently shared in his keynote: “That’s what we’re here for … helping one another”. Thanks everyone involved in the TLI for helping me learn new skills and expand my knowledge so that I too may help, motivate and inspire others more effectively.
Written by Peggy McGrath