Ultimate Pathways Leverage

By: Sean F. Forrester, DTM, Chief Educational Ambassador, District 48

As this will be my final blog post for the Toastmaster year 2019-20, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful leaders and members with whom I met and interacted this year. While it has been a busy year, it was very memorable for me, and a great learning opportunity I shall not soon forget. Thank you, District 48!

You may remember from my last post, entitled Unique Pathways Projects (https://www.district48.org/unique-pathways-projects/), that I recommended considering the unique projects found in each path along with the results of the Assessment before selecting a particular path. This was because there are 24 unique projects of the total available that show up in only one path, and in one case, only two paths.

In this post, I’d like you to consider taking it one step deeper. My analysis has shown me there are 11 specific pairings of paths that provide the most leverage, if worked on together. Now, when I say leverage, I mean that the pair of paths covers both the most number of total projects of those currently available AND they offer the most number of unique projects, as defined above.

The following are the top eleven pairings of paths, in order from highest to lowest:

1. Leadership Development & Motivational Strategies, 42 projects (71%), 7 unique
2. Engaging Humor & Leadership Development, 41 Projects (69%), 7 unique
3. Engaging Humor & Dynamic Leadership, 41 projects (69%), 6 unique
4. Engaging Humor & Visionary Communication, 41 projects (69%), 6 unique
5. Engaging Humor & Motivational Strategies, 40 projects (68%), 6 unique
6. Engaging Humor & Team Collaboration, 40 projects (68%), 6 unique
7. Engaging Humor & Effective Coaching, 40 projects (68%), 5 unique
8. Presentation Mastery & Leadership Development, 40 projects (68%), 5 unique
9. Engaging Humor & Persuasive Influence, 39 projects (66%), 5 unique
10. Motivational Strategies & Strategic Relationships, 39 projects (66%), 4 unique
11. Engaging Humor & Strategic Relationships, 38 projects (64%), 4 unique

The additional recommendation I will make is based on my personal experience over the past 2 years. When Pathways first launched in our District in May 2018, I belonged to 2 Toastmasters Clubs. As a result, I was able to begin with 2 paths from the start. Unfortunately, not having the information above, I selected Effective Coaching & Visionary Communication, which were recommended to me by the Assessment tool. As you can see, I did not gain the leverage of any of the pairings above. Live and learn.

However, since I started with 2 paths, what I did gain was the ability to work back and forth between the two as I progressed in my Toastmaster journey. This was done in two ways. As an example, since I had to deliver two Icebreakers, one for each Level 1, I decided to do a part A and a part B – my life before today, and my life envisioned in the future. I delivered 2 different speeches for the Evaluation & Feedback project, but did the first version in one club, and the second version in my other one. And vice versa.

There was another point of leverage that I gained by working two paths at the same time. That was to work on a project in one path, the learning of which could be used to facilitate another project within the other path. Examples were the Communication projects in my Visionary Communication path that I used to help me with my High Performance Leadership & Prepare to Speak Professionally projects in my Effective Coaching path.

To conclude, I believe there are tremendous opportunities to leverage the Pathways Learning Experience to receive even more benefits than may appear on the surface. By taking the Assessment, researching the unique projects, isolating the best pair of paths for you, and then working both chosen paths together, you can achieve the ultimate leverage from the educational opportunities that are available to us through Toastmasters learning environment. If you have specific questions or comments, please feel free to eMail me at [email protected].