If you’ve attended past District Conferences you were probably underwhelmed: unprepared officers who “winged it,” non-existent time control with overruns following overruns until an event or two had to be cancelled to catch up. You may have been appalled at the unplanned, tedious and sloppily-controlled DEC meeting. You may have decided not to bother attending any more.
(DEC is District Executive Council, which includes all Club Presidents and VPEs and Division officers. The DEC is charged with approving the budgets and plans of District Directors; if they say “no” it won’t happen, and if they vote yes the District officers execute their plans.) The DEC meets to consider such mundane matters as budgets and more exciting questions such as dividing the District in two. Recent DEC meetings have been plagued by poor attendance – without a quorum present business cannot be conducted.
It’s time to change your mind and attend; the meetings have changed. The District Director ran a tight meeting November 7th, staying on time and using only well-prepared and enthusiastic presenters. But, his rule was benign and benevolent – the iron fist in the velvet glove, so to speak.
If you are a Club President or Vice President for Education you have a vote at the DEC, and arguably a responsibility to represent your club’s interests at every DEC meeting. Since the business meetings seem to be businesslike now – and run efficiently (like a good Toastmasters Club meeting), plan to attend and cast your vote. Your time won’t be wasted and you’re unlikely to be driven to boredom and frustration.
Pan Kao certainly deserves praise and applause for his excellence in running a DEC committee meeting. When the word gets out there may be a lot more officers attending DEC meetings – a quorum may become the norm. It’s enough to restore faith in the leadership value of Toastmasters.