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AK’s BLOG

【Club Officer Training】

2017.8.16

We planned and operated Toastmasters Club Officer Training(COT) in the end of July.
COT is held by Division Directors with Area Directors twice a year for club officers.
I was in charge of an English session “Leading the Club to Success” and facilitated it.

Toastmasters International provides us such kind of training tool as Presentation Slides and documents. However original content is for two hours’ session and our time allowance is only forty minutes. I felt cramming the knowledge into hour head for a short time when I attended COT before. So I customized it focusing on the points for improving the audience satisfaction.

In addition, I facilitated my session interactively reducing one way instruction and increasing case studies,group discussions and presentations for reducing the feeling of distance between the audience and me. Then I completed it on time covering main topics.

After my session an Area Director facilitated the previous session told,
“I was lucky that you facilitated after me. If I saw your awesome session first,I might feel really nervous to facilitate my session.”

At the party I got some positive comments,
“AK,you gave a fantastic performance! I was tremendously impressed by your interactive session!”
“AK,What an awesome session you had!”

I’m glad to hear such comments and realized that was valuable.
I enjoyed my facilitation after a long time and cool beer at the party with Division/Area Directors.

【Niemon Island】

2017.8.8

I joined Niemon Island BBQ party held by my surfing-mates during three-day weekend in July. Niemon Island is one of sightseeing spots in Kamogawa,Chiba. The island is located just one hundred meter’s distance from Futomi harbor and we can go there for five minutes by ferryboat.

The port is just a hundred meter from the nearest parking lot. After forty attendants gathered,we carried food & drinks,tarps,tables and chairs together to the port. Arriving at the island we carried our BBQ items with rear cars for party traveler and entered the center of the island.

There was a lawn field which is the suitable place for BBQ and putting up a tent.
First we made a relaxed place setting up two tarps and lining up tables and chairs. One of the members played summer & pop music. Then some members began to roast meat and vegetables.
We could throw away separated refuse and it was very convenient.

The island consists of solid rocks and the water was cleaner than expected so it was suitable for Snorkeling. I rented snorkeling set from my friend and enjoyed the sea.

We completely enjoyed Niemon Island BBQ party from 8AM to 5PM.
I’ll attend it next year preparing for marine shoes for walking on the rocks.

【EK’s Second House】

2017.8.2

He calls himself “EK(Erotic King)”,who is one of Toastmasters-mates and likes dirty jokes very much.

I joined BBQ party held at EK’s Second House during three-day weekend in July.
His house is located at the seaside of Hokota city in Ibaraki.
I was surprised to find his house is just in front of surfing point and we can enjoy the gorgeous ocean view.

I told EK,
“What a fantastic location your house is! This is for a real surfer,isn’t it?”

EK replied,
“Oh Yeah! I started to have a lesson of surfing and sometimes surf in this sea.”

He seems to be around sixties but has enough challenging spirits to start surfing.
He showed me his board collection,three long boards and a fun board at the basement.

In addition, he has a courtyard which is suitable for BBQ and a second floor balcony where we can relax and have a pleasant talk drinking beer with comfortable sea breeze.
In the evening the waves looked better so I surfed in front of his house and got fun wave.

I’d like to visit EK’s Second House again for surfing with my surfing-mates in the near future.

【Passionate Leader】

2017.7.26

I had a meeting with a President E san of B Toastmasters Club who belongs to my Area.
I heard the rumor that B Club had many foreign members and high speech level.But they seldom sent contestants for Area Contest and I didn’t know their current status.
Before the meeting I approached her if she can host Area 45 contest and to discuss it when I visit her club.

Then I got an email from her,
“I regret to say our regular meeting tomorrow would be canceled for a little attendants. However I am interested in hosting Area 45 contest this fall. And I am anxious about doing it for I have no experience to host it.Therefore I’d like to have a live meeting with you and let me know what to do.”

She told me,
“Half year ago the former president suddenly went back to US for his business reason and other officers left our club then our club was nearly about to collapse. I was appointed to a president and held other two posts. We have managed to reorganize our club since this spring and settled down recently. We installed new officers and made a good start. I don’t have an experience to host Area contest but I think it may be a good chance for us to deepen the bonds between officers.”

I felt E san’s passion to save her club and to motivate officers’ mind as a leader.And I thought she has a strong will moving officers with her leadership.

This time I explained her simply what to do concerning hosting Area contest. And I clarified several interrogation points.

After all other officers opposed her in their officers meeting so she gave up hosting Area Contest this fall. But she obtained other officers’ approval to host Area Contest next spring. Therefore I will support her to involve in experiencing Area contest light roles.

【Area Director】

2017.7.19

Toastmasters fiscal year 2017-2018 has just started since Jul.1st,2017 and I was appointed to Area 45 Director. Each club has an activity in Toastmasters and 4-5 clubs belong to 1 Area and 4-7 Areas to 1 Division. And District(Japan District) consists of 8 Divisions.

District officer’s kick off meeting and training was held on Jun.25th and more than 60 officers and supporters gathered there. Division D Director leaded the Division meeting including my area concerning Club Officer Training(COT#1) and Division/Area Contest in this fall.

The role and responsibility of Area Director is to understand and support club needs conducting club visits twice a year. Club visits are strongly recommended in the earliest timing because no effective action can be taken before understanding the current situation of each club. Therefore I began to make a contact with each club president from next Monday and made a visit plan during July.

Division D contest should be hosted by my Area45, so I began to negotiate hosting Division contest with the president of Tokyo Toastmasters club which I belong to. I was invited to the home party of new & previous officers on Jul.1st by chance so I discussed Division contest there and could get agreement. In addition, I supported a club of my area which had a trouble with submitting new officer’s list to Toastmasters International collaborating with Division D Director and District Officer. As a result I could get the president’s trust before visiting her club.

Per COT#1,I made an announcement to take a role of an instructor for 1 English workshop and began to contribute to Division D.

To be sure the role of Area Director takes me time,however it is a new experience for me and a good chance to develop my leadership.
So I’d like to enjoy this role throughout the year.

【Holy Ghost descends on】

2017.7.12

This is the story of TACO Cup#18 held in this June.
I have organized this golf competition since 2010 with my colleague joining the same company at the same time. Recently we have increased the limit of generation.
This time we held it with six same generation and six others.

TACO-chan is a famous and lovely guy who has wide range of contacts in our company.
He is a kind of mascot character.
He is a single and rich man but doesn’t care about fashion.
He put on a tremendous color shirt with red and green stripe.
So one of my colleague talked idly,
“Do you have a part-time job in Seven-Eleven?”

He plays golf but often gets a booby prize.
This time S san,who is the best golfer in his age often got 70’s, played with TACO-chan.
Owing to S san,holy ghost descended on TACO-chan!?

First the ball TACO-chan hit from bunker was chipped in!
In addition,the long putts of 6m,8m & 10m were cupped on!!
At last he got in the hole of 12m long put and won the victory after four years!!!
Incredible! Even professional golfers rarely succeed as TACO-chan.

Six other generation told me,
“I like this harmonious atmosphere, so I’d like to attend TACO CUP again!”
Next TACO CUP in this fall will be liven up with many attendants.

TACO-chan, I look forward to showing your performance and entertaining the guests as a competition host and a lovely mascot character!

【Good Team】

2017.7.5

My term of office in Tokyo Toastmasters Club as a president expired at the end of June. Owing to officers’ continuous efforts, our team has performed our duties completely.

We could achieve the goal of DCP ten points,full score of Distinguished Club Program these consecutive six years and get positive balance these consecutive two years.In addition, we could appeal No.1 Club which all guests want to visit through the renewal of our website unsettled in former year. First of all I’m really glad to see our officers look very lively playing their roles and enjoying officer’s life.

N san,who got a victory three times in Japanese nationwide speech contest, was reinstated to our club after 2.5 years transferred back from Nagoya.
He spoke to me through many experiences joining and visiting various clubs,

“Hi AK, After all Tokyo TMC is the best club,I think. The level of the speech is No.1,especially the evaluation is outstanding. Though new members joined this club,average quality of the speech is very high. Many guests visit here and the atmosphere of this club is lively and energetic. Members are diversified and fantastic!”

I sent our officers “Thank you” message.
Some of them responded,
“I’m happy to work with you,AK.I was always motivated to your appreciative words.”
“I learned from you two important things. As an attractive leader you shared your unique vision with confidence and gave recognition to our jobs.”

Thank you very much for all officers!
You did a fantastic job and you are an outstanding officer!

【My Apartment’s Drama extra edition】

2017.6.28

We could complete the general meeting of total sections in safety and my term of office expired at the end of May. One week later I got an information of the new officers’ meeting with former officers taking over the roles and was surprised to see its appendix.

Nine page’s written questions were attached!
“Wow! What a persistent person he is!”
He requested us to answer a lot of minute questions in writing because he got angry about our operation toward him in the general meeting.

For example, the details of tree logging, the attendants of every meeting,type & reason & place of logging trees,the planting advisers’ contents of speech in the environmental meeting,the next year’s plan of logging trees,the history of lawyer as our adviser and the reason of correctness concerning the lawyer’s comment etc.
I was really disgusted to these minute questions.

But it was highly evaluated that he disclosed his name,phone number and email address unlike the defamatory literature circulated in the previous week.

I thought our Environment Director and Chief Executive Director should take over this issue to the next director completely not to owe them a grudge. When the next directors plan to log trees,they should take an action with a proper process holding an explanatory meeting in advance and using lessons learned this time.

As the claimers have a keen awareness of this problem,we may have a choice to win them over to officers’ side.

【My Apartment’s Drama concluding part】

2017.6.22

Concerning tree logging trouble in my Apartment, the claimers began to commence the next operation preparing for the general meeting of total sections on next Sunday. They had a meeting with a manager who supports administrative task for three and a half hours.

They requested a manager to speak in the general meeting as follows at the stand point of professional,
“Concerning tree logging trouble, I will apologize it not to guide officers properly.
We didn’t build enough consensus with residents in advance.
Next year we should make a substantial planting plan,so we should add some special adviser in addition to existing officers.”

Fortunately the manager informed us their request before the general meeting. And three of officers including me rejected their request.

The claimers didn’t get a good answer from the manager so they circulated another defamatory literature agitating residents on Friday.
Officers had a meeting on Saturday preparing the countermeasure against the claimers not to repeat the conflict in the general meeting of medium section.

On Sunday we held the general meeting of total sections. Of course the claimers stated their opinions but the chairman smoothly expedited proceedings backed up with supportive opinions and other officers’ supports. As a result we could completed the meeting for three hours which was one hour less than expected.

My term of office expired at the end of May. Owing to this claimers, the connection among officers deepened. I had a good time and enjoyed a lot.
Thank you very much for all of officers!

【My Apartment’s Drama 1st part】

2017.6.14

We had a trouble in the annual general meeting of my apartment in this May concerning tree logging issue which was not included in the bills.
My apartment is divided three sections,that is, Medium,Upper and High-rised.
The management society consists of each section and total sections.
The term of office is a year till the end of May and I was an auditor of Middle section double as total sections.

It all started in August,2016 Sophora japonica fell down for strong typhoon wind.
So our Environment Director consulted gardening experts and advisers,decided to cut down twenty trees for caring resident safety in the total governing board meeting. We publicized it a month before cutting down but managed to hold the explanatory meeting after cutting down.

I heard some claimers denounced our Environment Director and Chief Executive Director very severely so the meeting was in wild confusion.

And in the annual general meeting of medium section the same claimers spoke one after another,
“Your decision of cutting down was wrong. Stop ordering that gardening company. You don’t do the proper management. Apologize to us concerning your wrong judgement. Plant the trees to the original state.”
They stated illogical and confused opinions.

There were a couple of positive supporters for us but we were in a disadvantageous situation. So after an hour’s argue I spoke as an auditor.
“To be sure we should hold an explanatory meeting before cutting down. However,we believe we made a right decision and a proper action after hearing professional advice.
And we did our best to think about resident safety and getting lush greenery.
I will appreciate it if you would kindly understand it.”

Many executives thanked me after this meeting.
But after this meeting defamatory literature circulated by a claimer.(To be continued)