District Director’s Message – Dr. William Lau, DTM (New Year)

Time passes by very rapidly indeed. Soon we will be reaching the sunset of 2018 and experiencing the dawn of another new year; that is, 2019.

Year end is often a time for serious reflection and profound recollection. Life is and has never been a linear trajectory. It is inherent with calm and extreme climactic and existential uncertainties. At certain points of one’s life, the journey may be smoother, more peaceful and incident free; for another, the journey may be rougher, stormier and more tumultuous.

In areas where one is not too successful, let the failures be regarded as lessons to be learnt. Do not feel despair. Let us be consoled and be reminded of the time-tested adage, “failures are the mother of success”.

As for District 102 leaders, it is prudent at this juncture of our team to take a step backward and to figure out to what extent, we have attained or failed to attain our set Division or Area goals for 2018.

Where you have met them, do give yourself a pat on your back. If you have not, then do not feel dejected, disappointed or despondent. Do give a quick analysis of your recent past and try to determine the shortfalls, the reason(s) or the cause(s) therefor which frustrated your efforts to achieve your set goals.

Basing on your analytical results, reset your goals for 2019, re-plan your efforts and re-organize your available resources to achieve them.

If you need help, please do not feel hesitant. Seek and consult your peers or the Senior District Officers for advice and ideas. Just give them a call and I am sure they will respond to your calls. Please act now and not wait until the last minute of the term before you start to seek assistance. Do not procrastinate for time and tide waits for no man.

On that note, I would like to congratulate the following Division Directors for having chartered new Clubs this term:
Division D – chartered eLawyer Toastmasters Club & S&P Industries Toastmasters Club.
Division G – chartered MMHE Pasir Gudang Toastmasters Club.
Division C – chartered Roche SSC KL Toastmasters Club.
Division B – chartered Roche Malaysia Toastmasters Club.

Your efforts have helped to spread the goodness of Toastmasters among organisations in Malaysia. Keep up the good work you are doing.

In conclusion, I take this opportunity to wish all District Leaders, Officers and Fellow Toastmasters, “A Happy, Healthy & Successful 2019“.

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Dr. William Lau, DTM
District 102 Director
2018-2019

District Director’s Message – Dr. William Lau, DTM (Christmas)

Christmas is just around the corner. In six days’, this special day shall fall and a quarter of the world’s population of Christians shall have reason to rejoice and celebrate.

The Origins of Christmas

The term “Christmas”; or referred to in short as “X’mas” is derived from the combination of the two words “Christ” and “Mass”.

The former refers to Christ; that is, Jesus Christ, who, according to the four Synoptic Gospels of the Christian Bible, is the Son of the Almighty God incarnate who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He was the prophesized Savior or Messiah of the world. And, accordingly, those who repent of their sins, believe in Him and follow His teachings while on earth shall upon death be eligible for life eternal in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Mass, a terminology of the Anglican and Catholic Church, refers in general to their respective weekly or seasonal congregational worship in celebration and commemoration during this season of Advent of the coming and birth of Jesus Christ.

Out of the two words, Christmas was born.

The Purpose of Christmas

Seriously, Christmas is the time of profound introspection and internalization for Christians. It is the time for us to acknowledge their sins, seek forgiveness and repentance from those to and from whom they have committed wrongs and injustices against one another during the past eleven months.

Let us remember that Christmas does not accord the adherents the carte blanche for senseless and unlimited ventures of alcoholism, revelry and immoral excesses, as the materialistically commercial media portray and promote Christmas to be.

Reflections for Members of District 102

While we appreciate the true purpose for which Christmas is conceived, it is equally important to reflect on this season of Yuletide how we Toastmasters in District 102 can do and play our part in rendering our education and leadership development programs to the different diverse ethnic groups in a concerted effort to bring about greater peace, understanding and unity in the country.

With the foregoing message in mind, may I wish all Christian and members of our District A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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Dr. William Lau, DTM
District 102 Director
2018-2019

District Director’s Message – Dr. William Lau, DTM (December)

To Be an Effective Leader in District 102

To be successful leaders in our District, we need to have a special mental orientation, a heightened self-inspiration and a focused aspiration to be “Primus Inter Pares”. To stand out as prime-among-equals leaders, we perforce need to be different.

It is challenging to be effective and efficient District Leaders. But, they must constantly be wary of the fact that they are elected:

  • to help attain the District Mission; and,
  • to provide Clubs under them the necessary supportive and positive learning experience so that members may be empowered to develop their communication and leadership skills; and, in so doing, achieve greater self-confidence and personal growth.
  • My Observations.

    In the past twenty years, I realize that one of the common cardinal causes of clubs becoming weak is the general lack of trained mentors and coaches. It is not uncommon to see most, if not, all the clubs in our District merely assign their senior Toastmasters to mentor new members so that they may settle in earlier and be guided to perform their speech assignments and leadership roles. Mentors are normally drawn from within the clubs while coaches from external clubs. And, they are not trained as mentors or coaches. This blind-leading-the-blind situation or practice has persisted from as early as the 1990’s.

    An ordinary leader merely takes care of just the normal routine and mundane duties; such as, becoming a speech contest chair, general evaluator, chief judge or ordinary judge at speech contests, club officers’ investiture etc. What they have omitted, which is less publicized yet the most important, is to undertake the role of a mentor, advisor or teacher.

    The Origins of Mentoring.

    The term “Mentor” had its origin from the Greek Mythology. According to which, a soldier named Odysseus left to fight the Trojan Wars. During which, he entrusted the care and rearing of his son, Telemachus, to a wise old friend and teacher named Mentor.

    Hence, Mentor in the etymologically parlance sense, connotes a wise and trusted guide, advisor or teacher. To mentor means: to serve as a trusted guide, advisor or teacher.

    The Role of a Mentor.

    To be mentors for new or newer members in a Toastmasters club is one of the organization’s most-challenging, least-defined and often-neglected duties. When done right and effectively, it can be one of the most rewarding, fulfilling and beneficial experiences in developing our communication and leadership skills.

    Mentors derive their self-actualization when they know that they can help their mentees better their lives or succeed in attaining their goals for which they joined Toastmasters. To attain self-fulfillment as District Leaders, mentors shall need to be sincere, honest, caring for and sensitive to the mentees’ needs as well as becoming a friend, teacher and advisor to them.

    The mentors observe and listen to their mentees. They give concise and constructive feedback and to inspire them to continue to improve and achieve. In this regard, it is more important for the mentors to find and reinforce what the mentees are doing right than to find what is being done wrongly. The mentors’ actions should inspire the mentees to keep going forward.

    An important duty of mentors in my view is to help the mentees identify and achieve their own goals. Besides, they encourage the mentees to create realistic objectives and empower them to think and act.

    Challenges in Mentoring.

    Mentoring poses a great challenge to District Leaders. They must firstly appreciate that Toastmasters is a self-paced learning process for everyone. Every encounter may be regarded a learning experience, no matter how difficult it may seem. Mentoring, taken in the positive light and in earnestness, helps prepare both the mentor and the mentee eventually to better handle their live even outside the Toastmasters arena.

    Education is best assimilated in a fun and friendly environment. Encourage and perpetuate there this learning philosophy among your mentees. Be mindful of their body language and any arising issue and help them to resolve or overcome it.

    Maintain your integrity as mentor. You are not expected to be omniscient or someone who knows all. It is acceptable that you let your mentee know that you will check the matter up and come back to him. In this way, the mentee may have a higher regard for you as a teacher and advisor.

    Conclusion.

    The ultimate benefit of Toastmasters membership is becoming someone who can help someone else become a competent leader and communicator. Are you prepared to be an effective mentor to enhance your leadership in District 102? If you have such an aspiration, please do drop me an email at lau_bk2000@yahoo.co.uk or message to express your interest.

    (Words purporting male gender include those of the female gender and those purporting singularity includes plurality)

    Toastmasters_Malaysia_District_102_Dr_William_Lau
    Dr. William Lau, DTM
    District 102 Director
    2018-2019

    District Director’s Message – Dr. William Lau, DTM (Independence Day)

    Fellow Toastmasters of District 102.

    Today is a special day which brought home sweet memories of the day sixty-one years ago when our late First Prime Minister, YAB Tunku Abdul Rahman proclaimed at the strike of 12.00 midnight, “Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka” that signaled and heralded the birth of independent Federation of Malaya.

    Let us cherish and continue to cherish and treasure the significance of independence. May the spirit of independence invoke and ignite within the heart of each and every loyal citizen the duty and responsibility to contribute to the progress of our beloved motherland regardless of race, color, religion and political affiliation. Let us in concert work towards a united, harmonious and prosperous nation where all enjoy peace, mutual respect and understanding.

    On this note, I wish each and every member of District 102, “Happy Merdeka”. May this greeting remind us of our duty and onus of promoting unity, amity and harmony among Toastmasters and the people of Malaysia in general.

    Toastmasters_Malaysia_District_102_Dr_William_Lau
    Dr. William Lau, DTM
    District 102 Director
    2018-2019

    District Director’s Message – Dr. William Lau, DTM (August 2018)

    July is behind us now. It was indeed an exciting month that kept the Top Six pretty busy with meeting deadlines and programs planning.

    Our District Leaders Training (DLT) flagged off on Saturday, 6 July through Sunday, 7 July 2018 at the W.P Hotel where over 86% of District Leaders attended. The program was specially planned and aimed at ensuring that all the attending Division and Area Directors return to their respective turfs in greater confidence, knowledge and skills to effectively serve, develop and bring the best out of their members’ potentials. It was the first time the DLT stretched over two days and one night.

    Toastmasters_Malaysia_District_102_Dr_William_Lau
    Dr. William Lau, DTM
    District 102 Director
    2018-2019
    In the days of District 51 and now 102, we have probably taken lightly the concept of Toastmasters leadership. My message on this subject could be construed as revolutionary or reformative. The fact, nevertheless, remains that not much of consideration or emphasis has been given to dignify leadership within Toastmasters sufficiently to regard ourselves as First Among Equals. And, we must be proud that we are products of Toastmasters and that we must maintain this highly regarded leadership image within and without our organization.

    We were very fortunate to have the presence of Mr. Samuel Kim, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Asia Leadership Institute, an off-shoot of Harvard University, to share with us on the subject of Design Thinking and how it might apply to and augment our practice of servant leadership.

    Besides, we were blessed with the presentation of Dr. Edlin Abrahim, a linguist of six ancient languages, author and lecturer, who shared with us his profound knowledge of how the human brain functions and how we can with the application of the alpha-numeric memory recall technique improve our average memory and communication efficiency.

    The conclusion of the DLT saw the launching of the Club Officers’ Training 01 of Division M in Johor Bahru on Saturday 21 July, 2018. Division G had its COT 01 on Saturday 28 in Johor Bahru as well. Both the sessions were well attended.

    This COT 01 shall extend to the whole month of August 2018. To ensure we achieve success, I sincerely enjoin all District and Club officers give their fullest co-operation and support to TLI Chair, C P Lau and his support team.

    The District Trio will be leaving for the TI Convention 2018 in Chicago from 18 – 27 August 2018. During this period, our SDO’s – District Administration Manager, Henry Foo, DTM, District Finance Manager, Kaarthigayan, CC and District Public Relations Manager, Robert Ram, DTM will be in charge. Please do give them your support as you have given us.

    Lastly, for those clubs that have not assigned their proxies to me, please do so within the next one week. This will have the effect of empowering me to effectively represent your interest at international level.

    Thank You.