Funny that for a long time, I always thought the opposite. I thought that leaders are born with an innate talent to shine, or an innate talent to get things done. It seems like I always thought this was a natural gift - especially for my sister and my mother.
Almost 3 years ago today I found Toastmasters in White Rock - Early Edition Toastmasters (the best club)! I realized that I already have some skills (leadership and public speaking) and if I worked on them just like you work on your fitness... you can become a pretty amazing leader AND public speaker. Woah...
I remember when I first joined and I was shaking and so nervous to speak to a group of 30 polished speakers...thinking the whole time "I wonder what they are thinking of me". Fast forward to today and I am told all the time (because I still don't believe it) that I am a great public speaker and I have a strong but sweet presence. How cool is that!
That is what a leader is in my opinion. Someone who isn't paralyzed by what others think, and someone who can stand up and speak on what they believe in. The public speaking skill is really just a way to communicate what you feel passionately about - what you want to lead others in. The two go hand in hand.
So when I saw this short video on the winners from Toastmasters International - speakers from all over the world - I was excited to watch it. Keep in mind - all of these speakers have been practicing in Toastmasters! Every week they have a meeting and practice all sorts of skills. What I love most is that it shows me that anyone has the ability to be an incredible leader... you just have to work at it!