My Leadership transition professionally and at Toastmasters
Leadership, a cornerstone of progress and transformation, holds a mirror to our ability to inspire, guide, and grow. This truth resonates across sectors, particularly in education, where the shaping of futures takes place. Reflecting upon my recent transition from the Principal’s role at Malpi International School to The Chandbagh School, I find a deep connection between applying fundamental leadership principles and the dynamism that Toastmasters has provided me. Moreover, this connection extends to my leadership journey within Toastmasters – from Area Director of C4 to the renewed challenge of Area Director of D1.
Having concluded a rewarding three-year tenure as Principal at Malpi International School, I had the privilege of experiencing the heartfelt farewell of students, staff, and teachers, and the experience was enriching. This juncture marked both an end and a beginning. Assuming the mantle of Principal at The Chandbagh School from August 1, 2023, came with its set of responsibilities and aspirations. The warmth of my reception by the Chandbagh community reinforced my belief that leadership thrives on shared values and collective endeavors.
In education, the fundamental objective of any institution remains unwavering: to impart quality education. This objective persists whether at Malpi International School or The Chandbagh School. This transition across educational institutions underscores the idea that while fundamentals remain constant, each institution carries its distinctive identity, culture, and goals. Leadership, irrespective of the context, must appreciate and embrace this individuality while upholding overarching principles.
Integrating my Toastmasters journey into this narrative, I recently completed my tenure as Area Director of C4, serving from July 1, 2022, to June 31, 2023. This role, akin to educational leadership, involved guiding clubs, fostering growth, and building a cohesive community. Now, I embark once again on the role of Area Director, this time for Area D1. This journey underscores that leadership is not confined to a singular role but extends across various domains, each with its unique challenges and rewards.
Drawing parallels between Toastmasters and educational leadership, we find that the principles of applying fundamentals while taking leadership action are universal:
- Pathways to Values: Toastmasters emphasizes core values that steer clubs’ activities. Similarly, educational leadership thrives on institutional values. The ability to imbue these values into actions is a hallmark of effective leadership.
- Nurturing Evolution: Just as in Toastmasters Pathways, where growth happens while building upon foundational skills, educational leaders must innovate within established principles. This balance ensures the institution’s growth while staying true to its mission.
- Collaborative Synergy: Collaboration is the lifeblood of both Toastmasters and education. Just as Toastmasters meetings thrive on members’ synergy, educational leaders collaborate with staff, teachers, and students. This synergy leads to informed decisions and shared success.
- Learner-Centric Approach: Toastmasters focuses on members’ growth; similarly, education revolves around nurturing students’ and teachers’ development. Prioritizing students’ needs ensures that decisions align with the institution’s core purpose.
- Resilience and Adaptation: The Toastmaster’s spirit of mastering impromptu speaking is akin to educational leaders navigating challenges. The capacity to make informed decisions amid uncertainty is an essential trait of leadership.
In the end, the parallels between leadership in education and the Toastmasters framework are evident. My journey, from Area Director of C4 to the renewed challenge of Area Director of D1, exemplifies that leadership is a dynamic and evolving journey. It involves translating values into actions, fostering collaboration, and ensuring that decisions resonate with an institution’s essence.
Embracing fundamentals while adapting to change is key to navigating educational landscapes with purpose. The synergy with Toastmasters illustrates that whether guiding a school or leading a Toastmasters meeting, leadership is about illuminating the path forward while staying true to guiding values. As I embark on this new chapter as the Principal of The Chandbagh School and The Area Director of Area D1, I am reminded that leadership is a continuous journey of growth, learning, and transformation. It’s about translating core values into tangible actions, fostering collaboration, and ensuring that every decision aligns with the institution’s essence. It also underscores that growth as a leader is a perpetual quest, demanding not just the ability to inspire growth but also the willingness to be a lifelong learner. Learning continues….
Chandrayan Pradhan Shrestha
Area D1 Director