↑ Return to Manuals

Competent Leader

In 2005, Toastmasters International launched a significant change to the educational program by announcing a new manual in the Leadership track.  The Competent Leader manual provides ten projects to help members develop their leadership skills through meeting roles and written evaluations.We’re excited about this structured focus on leadership development! It does, however, require more personal responsibility to make progress toward the CL award in our club.  Whereas our VP-Education actively schedules you for the speeches necessary for your CC award, you must remember to bring your CL manual with you to meetings and find someone to evaluate your performance for a specific role and project.But, in the end, it will be worth it. You won’t learn leadership skills simply by reading about them, actively participate, and you’ll become a purposeful and confident leader!

Project 1: Listening and Leadership

Listening is an important leadership skill. Good listeners help you acquire information, enabling you to identify and clarify issues, make decisions, resolve conflict and be creative. Listening skills also play a major role in team-building. You can learn to be a better listener by following a few simple suggestions.Develop and practice listening skills by serving in any three of these four roles:

  • Evaluator
  • Table Topics Speaker
  • AH Counter
  • Grammarian

Project 2: Critical Thinking

A leader gathers information, then analyzes, interprets and understands it before acting. Critical thinkers question what they read and hear, then determine the quality of a piece of information and use logical reasoning to reach conclusions. Critical thinkers make better decisions. You can learn to think more critically by following a few suggestions.Develop and practice critical-thinking skills by serving in any two of these three roles:

  • Evaluator
  • Grammarian
  • General Evaluator

Project 3: Giving Feedback

Team members need to know what they are doing well, what they are not doing well and how they can improve. Giving performance feedback is a necessary leadership function. When done properly, feedback can relieve stress, improve interpersonal relationships and promote trust and respect for leaders and team members.Develop and practice feedback skills by serving in these three roles:

  • Evaluator
  • Grammarian
  • General Evaluator

Project 4: Time Management

Time management helps leaders make the most of the time available to them. You can budget your time and accomplish projects and tasks efficiently by identifying long-term and short-term goals, make a daily to-do list, prioritize the list, make a schedule, delegate when possible, leave time for unexpected tasks, and manage interruptions.Develop and practice time-management skills by serving as timer and any one of these four roles:

  • Toastmaster of the Day
  • Speaker
  • Grammarian
  • Table Topics Master

Project 5: Planning and Implementation

A plan provides direction for the leader and the team. The planning process involves setting goals and objectives and preparing plans and schedules to accomplish them. The process forces leaders to look beyond their everyday activities and think about what they want to happen in the future. Involving team members in the process will encourage their commitment.Develop and practice planning and implementation skills by serving in any three of these four roles:

  • Speaker
  • General Evaluator
  • Toastmaster
  • Table Topics Master

Project 6: Organizing and Delegating

Leaders must ensure the team is organized and capable of accomplishing goals and objectives, and they must provide the structure in which the team will operate. Delegation also plays a major role. A leader should accomplish functions that only he or she has the knowledge and authority to do and delegate all other tasks to team members.Develop and practice organization and delegation skills by serving in any one of these roles:

  • Help organize a club speech contest
  • Help organize a club special event
  • Help organize a club membership campaign or contest
  • Help organize a public relations campaign
  • Help produce the club newsletter
  • Assist the club’s webmaster

Project 7: Developing Your Facilitation Skills

A facilitator establishes the structure the team needs to function effectively, ensures the structure is working and removes obstacles that may be impeding progress. A facilitator also resolves conflicts which are inevitable any time two or more people are required to work together. Good facilitation skills can help the group reach a resolution.Develop and practice facilitation skills by serving in any two of these four roles:

  • Toastmaster
  • General Evaluator
  • Table Topics Master
  • Befriend a guest at a club meeting

Project 8: Motivating People

A motivated team will overcome obstacles of all types to achieve its goals. A leader creates and maintains an environment where team members are likely to become motivated. Leaders find out what motivates team members, then develop reward systems that match what team members value. They also look for ways to reward team members for doing the right things.Develop and practice motivational skills by serving in three of these roles, at least one of which is marked with an asterisk:

  • Membership campaign or contest chairman*
  • Public relations campaign chairman*
  • Toastmaster
  • Evaluator
  • General Evaluator

Project 9: Mentoring

A mentor recognizes an individual who has less experience and cultivates that person’s potential and talents and helps him or her succeed. Leaders also are mentors. You can be a mentor by offering someone opportunities for skill development, helping the person recognize areas needing work, providing helpful advice, being a role model, and encouraging the person to think for himself or herself.Develop and practice mentoring skills by serving in one of these three roles:

  • Mentor for a new member
  • Mentor for an experienced member
  • Guidance committee member for someone who is working on a High Performance Leadership Program project

Project 10: Team Building

Teams offer great benefits. Team members have a variety of knowledge and skills, which results in more creativity and greater productivity. When a good team is in place, a leader has more time to devote to leadership issues. Team members must be carefully chosen and trained and encouraged to openly discuss issues with you and among themselves.Develop and practice team-building skills by serving as both Toastmaster and General Evaluator, or by serving in one of these roles:

  • Club membership campaign or contest chairman
  • Club public relations campaign chairman
  • Club speech contest chairman
  • Club special event chairman
  • Club newsletter editor or webmaster

DISCLAIMER: The Toastmasters educational program is © 2007 Toastmasters International. All rights reserved. This information is provided as a service to our members. For full details on each project, refer to your Competent Leadership manual.

 The Fine Print:Be sure to read each project’s requirements carefully and determine what meeting and club roles apply. At every meeting in which you are assigned a role, you should be able to complete a CL manual requirement!

If you perform two or more roles during one meeting, only one of the roles may be used to satisfy a project’s requirements.

Also, some meeting roles fulfill the requirement for several different projects. Serving once in that role meets the requirement for only one project. For example, to receive credit for four projects with the option to serve as evaluator, you are required to serve as evaluator at four different meetings.

Confused? It’s okay! Just bring all your questions to our VP-Education.