“Toastmasters gets me out of my shell. It challenges me. I have made some amazing friends in Toastmasters and that’s one thing I will always be grateful for.”-Elaine O’Gorman DTM
Whether it’s reaching out to all the clubs or equipping the entire Division H leadership with tools to effectively serve, some tasks are simply too big for anyone to do alone, no matter how experienced or well resourced they may be. These efforts require a network of likeminded people, all working from their respective strengths in pursuit of the Toastmasters common goals-leadership and communication skills. For Elaine O’Gorman DTM, an avid family woman, communication systems saleslady and the Division H Director, synergy is the most important aspect needed to align the individual member goals with the Division’s goals.
Elaine acknowledges that she has been inspired and supported by so many people who have had such a positive influence over her Toastmasters life and in her other life too. As a result of this influence, one of the objectives under the synergy theme was to put together a solid support structure where the new, inexperienced leaders within her council, and all Division H members have ready access to experienced mentors, so that no one loses their bearings. She said the beauty of creating synergy is that, “Anyone within Division H should not feel isolated, but know that there is a whole organization, District and Division just waiting to support them. Cooperation, cohesion and unity are what synergy is about.”
Working together, achieving together and becoming really good at what they do, is set to mold Division H into a formidable team. This team falls under four Area Directors namely, Jonas Mashifane, the Area H1 Director, Bradford Dale, who leads Area H2, Wendy Khumalo, the Area H3 Director and Maleisemane Masemola who heads Area H4. Division H is in the Gauteng Province of South Africa and it is spread around Fourways, Sandton, Bryanston, Rivonia and Monte Cassino.
Elaine strongly believes in a balance between Toastmasters, family and work. “Toastmasters gets me out of my shell. It challenges me. I have made some amazing friends in Toastmasters and that’s one thing I will always be grateful for,” she added. This in itself is a powerful reason why she keeps renewing her membership since she first became a Toastmaster in 2012.
The empathetic Elaine first seeks every stakeholder’s opinion before making important decisions. She sees herself as the head support or cheerleader, to support and encourage whenever the need arises. Elaine also recognizes that every club and member has its own personality and she respects that. When it comes to upholding the Toastmasters values, Elaine is uncompromising, consistent and unbiased while at the same time making sure that her Division is happy.
Elaine believes that synergy is the best single strategy for addressing the most pressing needs of members in Toastmasters today. Her parting shot is, “By engaging with each other, we learn to understand where people need help, motivation or just a formal acknowledgement. In the process, knowledge is transferred, making each one of us richer for the encounter.”
Division H can be contacted via their Facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/divisionHTM/