What does “Distinguished Club” really mean?
Our club is a “President’s Distinguished” club. That means we made and executed a plan to meet nine of ten (TI specified) goals during the year. Clubs can be designated as “Distinguished” (five goals met), “Select Distinguished” (seven goals), or the top – “President’s Distinguished.”
To be identified as “Distinguished” clubs must meet administrative, marketing, and educational objectives. Administrative matters include getting dues in to World Headquarters (WHQ) or TI on time. It also includes forwarding officer election results on time.
Marketing involves adding five new members or having a membership of 20 at the end of the Toastmasters year (June 30). This is important because, across the world, 30% – 40% of TM members leave their clubs every year. They move, are promoted to more time-demanding positions – or just get tired of attending. Adding four new members twice during the year replaces 40% of the 20 members in an average club.
Educational requirements demand that a mix of entry level and advanced Toastmasters reach their goals every year. The Toastmasters education system is in place and readily available, so it’s up to each club to use the system as a tool to help its members progress – and stay involved.
It’s been said that if you fail to plan you plan to fail. The Club’s Distinguished Club Plan is designed to help clubs succeed. Each goal is linked to the names of the members who the officers think will complete that goal. Then officers monitor and encourage the members to complete their part of the DCP: members speak, lead, and earn advanced recognition such as ACB, ALB and even DTM.
A Distinguished Club is one that is well-managed. Their leadership team developed a plan and executed it well. Problems that developed were addressed with changes. For example, one member dropped out (which meant her CC award wouldn’t fill that particular goal) so another candidate was identified, monitored and encouraged to complete his CC.
In a Distinguished Club the officers have demonstrated management insight and perseverance, leadership skills (including persuasion), and administrative ability and oversight. Continued excellence becomes a Club Culture. Excellence – and Distinguished status — is expected and achieved every year.