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What is in a Title

I have been blessed.  During my career I have had the privilege to work for West Point graduates, the CEO of Ralston Purina, and a non-profit executive who at the time was earning a seven figure income.  What strikes me as I look back is how their titles have impacted their lives and the lives of others.

Some, like me, post their titles as an introduction to who they are.  I am a DTM, Distinguished Toastmaster, using the title after my name on social media.  I would be remiss if I continued to use that title if I were otherwise engaged or stopped believing in the program.  Some might refer to using a title that was once appropriate as “mailing it in.”  As it is, I am fully engaged after nearly 20 years continuing to deliver Toastmaster approved manual speeches while getting my greatest joy from mentoring new members.  As an “Iron Man in Training,” I continue to wear the hat and shirt I received for finishing the half Iron Man in Oceanside in March of 2006 because I continue to train and for my next Iron Man when I turn 70 in 2020

Many of my champions that I have come to know set the example for me.  Helen Blanchard, the first female member of Toastmasters International and first female International President of Toastmasters, always carried herself as if she were continuing as IPOT.  Knowing her was a great honor.  I would always get chills up and down my spine in her presence.  She always dressed for success, conducting herself with integrity and delivering wise guidance.

H. Blanchard became a member of Toastmasters in 1970.  At that time, because of gender, H. Blanchard became a member named Homer who was actually Helen.  This was before gender and equality were buzz words.  You see Toastmasters was an all male organization, allowing only men to be members.  In 1973 Homer became Helen as Toastmasters now allowed women to become members.  In 1985 Helen became the first woman International President of Toastmasters.  I had the pleasure of knowing Helen, interacting with her at district Toastmaster meetings.  As I write this I am getting chills up and down my spine.  In her presence I always got chills.  The way she carried herself with poise and grace was presidential.  My guess is that she always spoke and walked in a presidential way from the time she was H. Blanchard until the day she died.

Meeting Willis Reed during my senior year in high school was one of the highlights of the year.  The New York Knicks used our high school gym to practice in the off season.  He came to inspect the facilities with other team representatives.  My good fortune was that I was in my dorm room as he walked through on his inspection.  I knew him immediately as I was a big fan of the Knicks.  As I asked him for his autograph he graciously signed my piece of composition paper which I laminated, and it is posted on my cork board still today!  What has always impressed me about Willis Reed was he was small by stature (6’9”) as he played center for the Knicks compared to his contemporaries Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlin (7’1” and 7’2” respectively.)  Reed always carried himself as the Captain of the Knicks.  I am sure he still carries himself as the captain of his own team today!

Now there are others who take or are given titles like Adventurer, Hall of Fame, or maybe they take the name of a land mass like a continent they visited.  They then apply those titles to give themselves stature in the business world.  In many cases credibility is earned from giving themselves these titles.  Some tend to rise to the title.  Others continue to use titles that once fit.  The adventurer who was once lean and fit is now 40 pounds overweight, wears a Mumu to cover his large physical girth, and wonders why few believe the stories told of days in the past.

What is in a title and how does it impact attracting the right prospects and generating more referrals you ask?  We need to carry ourselves in a way that demonstrates our position.  As a Distinguished Toastmaster I need to do all the things that are expected of a recipient of the award.  If one day I decide to “mail it in,” that will be the time to drop the title and leave Toastmasters.  The day I stop training for my next Iron Man will be the time to retire as an Iron Man.  As you continue to move forward growing your business, secure the titles that fit you so that your prospects are inspired by what you deliver.

 

Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA.  He works with people in business who want to attract the right prospects and generate more referrals.  More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability.  Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.  His book series, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, are available on the website, www.integritysd.com.

Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses.  He is a networking dynamo.  Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together—which is why he started INTEGRITY.

Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is a Distinguished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations.

Are you truly committed to attracting the right prospects and generate more referrals?  If so then contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information.  You can contact Gerry by mail at 1610 Quiet Hills Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056.  Direct dial (760) 439-4623; e-mail to gerry@integritysd.com.  For more information, go to www.integritysd.com

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