My best memory as a Pathways Guide is of the growth of networking opportunities within and across districts in Australia. We started small with social media groups just for the guides in D70 and D73 – this enabled us to gain valuable social learning with our peers. Then we branched out with a Region 12 Guides and Ambassadors group – in this one we could share further afield from the southern most state of Australia (Tasmania) to the northern most state of Queensland and talk with guides from the west coast in Perth through to South Australia and the east coast states of New South Wales and Victoria.
My best memory of a Path is a feeling of pride and elation when that first Path was completed. I had selected Effective Coaching as my first Path, and as you know, it requires a High Performance Leadership project to complete Level 5. Once I had completed all the requirements of the HPL – the project itself (six months of work), the guidance committee and steering committee 360 degree evaluations, and the paper work (well the online clicks in my Transcript), I was able to view my Proficiency Certificate. That was a very proud moment!
My best memory of a project was the Write a Compelling Blog! I was eager to tackle this one early and I knew more or less what I had to do even in January when I was still on Level 1. So with a little bit of guidance and help from you I began my series of blog posts on the ‘Pathways Treader’ – a hero’s journey, describing what it felt like to be a Pathways Guide. If I had my time over again I would not have tried to do this in the last 8 days of the month – that was a stretch for me during the summer months in Australia. Once I got started the whole process inspired me to continue, not just 8 posts/chapters but 12 in all.
Pathways Guide Memories
The best memories of the role did not really eventuate until I took on the role of leading a small team of Online Pathways Guides (OPGs) who volunteered their time and energy to supporting the clubs in District U. By then I was more confident with Base Camp and so were the teams – we were in much better shape to help clubs across the world! The network of online Toastmasters was the gene pool from which these OPGs were recruited. Many were immersed in online clubs and/or had been involved as Pathways Guides or Ambassadors in their own districts.
In hindsight, I saw my first efforts as a Pathways Guide for D70 and D73 as the real training ground for what we did next – connecting with Toastmasters in different geographic regions of the world and providing them with the stepping stones to success with Pathways.
As in any leadership learning experience we have been able to implement the lessons learned from previous support strategies and blend them into a new model for providing guidance and mentoring services for the 30+ OPGs. We learned from our early mistakes and polished our skills to a new brightness. One thing I recall as being extremely complex was the task of matching the OPGs with the clubs in District U according to compatible time zones. That task alone took several days of work and my mind was in a spin looking at club meeting times, locations of the OPGs, their languages and any need for French or Spanish speaking guides.
Note: it became crucial to know what club meeting times were in UTC terms so that we could calculate for our own time zones. My best friend was the World Clock Time and Date Conversion site and my computer date and time for current times across the world.
This was my call to action in Chapter 12 of my early posts and it is still the most asked question of me as a Pathways Coordinator. What would you suggest?
Call to Action
Here is where I need your help!
Please leave a comment below with some ideas on personalizing the support for individual clubs and members in ‘on boarding’ into Pathways.
Next week, Julie and I are looking for your suggestions on what questions we could ask of each other for our Friday blog posts. Look for those in the Toastmasters Pathways Discussion Forum.