Getting Outside My Comfort Zone

by Shed Mayberry, District 22 Program Quality Director

Before October 2020, I was living in my comfort zone in Toastmasters.  I was the Division T Director, The Tip of the Spear.  I had 18 clubs in which I was responsible for their membership growth, club education, and overall welfare.  And I was making my visits to my clubs as a Division Director and mentoring and maintaining excellent communication with my Executive team of Area Directors and Assistant Division Director (Marion Wimberly, Kiyomi Griess, Ron Stewart, Cheryl Reynolds, and Ryan Van Dusen).  Then a wrench was thrown into my perfect world: the District Trio had an open position that was critical to the livelihood and success of D22.  I stepped out of my comfort zone to take on this position.  I ’ve always respected those that I consider mentors that came this way before me: Kim Myers, Rob Christeson, Al Voorhess, David Whitner, and Sharon Horgan.

The first question one of my Division T members asked me when I informed them that I was taking on this new role as District 22 Club Growth Director was, “Will you still be available for us to be able to contact you and ask questions if need be?”  I informed that person that I will always be here for them, it’s just that my role in Toastmasters has grown.  Instead of just being available to Division T members, I would be available for all the members of District 22 in addition to Division T.

Although we have suffered during this pandemic, many opportunities have opened.  My family has been affected by this pandemic, but I am thankful that my wife and I are being the best examples for our members: fully vaccinated and doing our part to get through this.  A few of my greatest accomplishments were mentoring our K-State members (Chandrima Shyman, Amali Jambuge, and Gowri Kuda-Singappulige) on their interview techniques and all three have went on and got great jobs outside of Kansas.  To be able to work with Angela Chapes, who wants to be an advocate for people with mental illness and autism.  Working with Sharon Roberts-Meyer on spreading the word about Toastmasters across Western Kansas and now stepping up as T-13 Area Director.  To be able to network with some outstanding leaders in D22 such as Stephanie Srader, Joanne Monroe, Dan Arbuckle, TerryAnn Porter, Rick Chandler, Barb Granade, Andre Redd, Darren Yarbrough, and David Wells to name a few.  To be able to visit clubs across District 22 and to introduce them to the Tip of the Spear mentality.

Teamwork makes the dream work!  No one person can do it alone.  Becoming a member of the District Trio has opened my eyes on the bigger picture of Toastmasters.  Our mission is to make this the best organization in the world.  It has been a learning year filled with support from some great friends.  Always ready to lend a helping hand or give positive advice.  Thanks for helping me outside of my comfort zone.  Here’s to a continued success to our Toastmasters organization.

6 thoughts on “Getting Outside My Comfort Zone”

  1. Stephanie Srader

    Nicely said Shed! You are a true servant leader and a great example for all. I look forward to watching your continued growth as a Toastmaster leader my friend!

  2. Shed, I am so glad you were willing to go outside your comfort zone. You were a great addition to the trio last year and will continue to reinforce the ‘Tip of the Spear’ mentality this year. Thanks for your service and inspiration!

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