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The Five Es – High Performance Leadership part II

Laura is close to the end of her journey towards Distinguished Toastmaster.  This is the penultimate project towards Advanced Leadership Silver.  In this speech Laura takes a long hard look at her performance from a hard and soft skills perspective.  In this very open speech she shares her internal dialogue and what she has learnt along the way:  The good, the bad and the ugly.  With her speech entitled The Five Es please welcome Laura McHarrie …

That was interesting, interesting? mmm that’s euphemism if ever I heard one!  a euphemism is a word or a phrase which pretends to communicate something good but doesn’t. It makes the negative seem positive, the unpleasant seem attractive, or at least tolerable. 

Fellow toastmasters. This project was, indeed, interesting.

Two false starts, a change of title, a change over of team members. there were however a number of personal ah ha moments.  

The biggest was recognising the importance of Handy’s Motivation Calculus – something I had learnt years ago and had completely forgotten. Every decision that a person makes there is a conscious or unconscious assessment of three factors.  What their needs are, what the desired result is and whether the eFactors are present effort, emotion, energy, expenditure and excitement. 

I launched the project with a vision statement at the Autumn Contest in my year as Area Director.  Its mission: to enable Dorset Toastmaster clubs to work together to celebrate successes and support each other in promoting the brand.  

It featured Billy No Mates the PR officer who had to get 24 visitors to the club, to get 12 of them to come for a second visit to enable 8 to become members.  


That was what was in the clubs success plan.  Billy, like all PR officers was overwhelmed and had turned to drink!

The premise behind the big idea was that sharing and supporting the clubs promotional activity would help the clubs officers in their role and would help the area achieve greater visibility.  

The Tiny Thing Matter project floundered in the first few months, I hadn’t gained enough momentum and I struggled to find the energy to continue it alongside the Area Director role.

However, when Linda took over as Area Director in July, I was ready to relaunch!  I had dusted off the vision, mission and values and felt they were still valid.  I talked through with the new plan with the incoming club presidents 

With a new title Grow and Be Strong and two new key performance indicators, the vision remained to provide a vehicle for creating great internal and external PR for all clubs now and for years to come.  That meant:

1. new members for individual clubs

2. the personal growth and retention of current members

and a brand new club for the area.

In July, I had just completed my term as Area Director and thought yippee! I now have the time to get this project going. It’ll be a great resource for the Membership and PR Officers and waved my blank action plan excitedly at the them for their brilliant ideas.  

Jeremy Bradshaw Hallmark president took some time out for a coffee with me to discuss another hurdle around timing.  

What I didn’t think through was that my brilliant project wasn’t going to be a high priority for the new committee members! Doh!  How daft can you get!  

Sucking in my bottom lip, it took a while for his ah ha moment to sink in 

… Leadership isn’t always about delegating.  Sure it helps if you have willing volunteers but coerced ones just don’t work.  Sometimes leadership is about leading from the front and leading by example, with grit, determination and persistence. 

So I have been watching out for club celebrations and have been sharing from afar.  I have been watching for learning and sharing from afar.  But most of those Tiny Things that Matter have not been visible to the naked eye.  This is such a shame as I am sure there will be people mortified that I haven’t noticed things they have been doing.  

Most notable have been:

Hallmark Live 2017 event. They launched the accelerated speaker programme which has resulted in their achieving Select Distinguished without them even knowing.  

21-year old Tom Manston has taken over the Ferndown Speakers PR roll, after Tracy Baines stepped down suddenly.  He has helped to organise an open evening recently, revitalised the Facebook page And got Hallmark to support the club with its MeetUp profile.

Closer to home, Luke has made a grand effort at revamping the Casterbridge speakers website.  As a result we have had a flurry of new members. This would have been brilliant to celebrate.  Nevertheless, Bev Hepting has kept the contest plaques at Casterbridge, single handedly and we have been celebrating that!

My project completion date was March 31st right after Talk up Toastmasters.    It is when the renewals are sent into TMI.  So here we are. Was it a success?



2016 & 2017


2016 & 2017


2016 & 2017

Year/End Membership 





20/11 est 14

10/2 est 3

5/5 est 7







19/11 est 12

26/24 est 26

No – it really wasn’t – there have been fewer new recruits and fewer renewals than the same period last year.  (Although we do have a brand new club in Salisbury.)

So what did I learn? 

All the hard skills in the world won’t help you to motivate a team if you haven’t first considered their needs, communicated the rewards well enough and above all ensured that your project contains the correct balance of those 5 eFactors: effort, emotion, energy, expenditure and excitement.

In case you are interested this is the project launch speech The High Performance Leadership Part I

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