Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Titles We Bare

(video posted with the Speaker's permission)

When we were born, we were bare, naked and without possessions. Then we were given our first gift, a Title, our names.

Point #1: Among family and friends

Positions in the family can be term as titles. As the first born and a son, I was the ‘Pride of the Family’, … till my two brothers came along.

Who among you are the eldest siblings? {Raise your hands}

How many of you receive this instruction from your parents before?

“You are the eldest in the family, so you need to set a good example to your brothers and sisters!”

I heard that a lot of times from my parents, but every time I heard that, I’ll be wondering; “Who’s my example?”

Sometimes my parents would exclaim exasperated in “Aiyah … Don’t know where he learn to do that !?!??” I in my head I’ll be shouting “Aiyah … from you loh” … obviously I won’t be saying out loud unless I want to receive a ‘five finger wave’ (slapping action) … so parents, be careful of what you say and do in front of your kids.

The Titles We Bare in family positions can come great responsibilities and sometimes great pain.

Point #2: In our Working Lives

I started working more than 10 years ago. That’s when I was expose to Organizational Titles; Junior Executives, Senior Executives, Managers, President and so forth.

Fame, Money and Power, are some of the driving forces for us to gain titles, do you agree?

The greater, higher, and more glamorous sounding titles, the great the perceived remunerations.

Not only the remunerations but the kind of treatment we receive. For example

When I do something without being told,
I am trying to be smart,
When my manager does the same,
he takes the initiative,

When I am sick, on Medical Leave,
I am always sick.
When my manager is a day off sick,
He must be very ill.

When my manager applies for leave,
it's because he's overworked
When I apply for leave,
I must be going for an interview.

Point #3: In Toastmasters

Let’s bring this topic closer to home. In September 2005, I stepped into my first Toastmasters Club, D’Utama Toastmasters Club.

As I sat through the meeting the acronym & titles started flying around, CTM, ACB, GE, and DTM – to name a few. Needless to say that I’d joined the club later found out that those were the titles we earn as we go through the communication and leadership education program.

CTM – Competent Toastmasters,

It was in 2006 I heard that Toastmasters International was going to change the for the Communication track award titles, ‘Toastmasters’ was going to be changed to ‘Communicator’ to be more specific to which track the award is for.

When I heard this and found out what the new abbreviation was, I was filled with fear … WHY? Because the new title will begins with ‘CC’ …

What’s wrong with ‘CC’ you ask?” Well it sounds like ‘sis-sy’ … and the meaning of the title does not do justice because ‘sis-sy’ means ‘timid or cowardly person’ … unlike ‘Competent Toastmasters’ …

Which one sounds better ‘Johnson Yike CTM’ or ‘Johnson Yike, CC’?

I rest my case and decided to work very hard to complete my 10 basic speeches and gain my Competent Toastmasters award.

Throughout my journey, I meet many confidence, compose and charismatic Toastmasters. They were humble and shared their experience, knowledge and wisdom freely. Unfortunately there were some who were just in it for the glory, and demands respect. They confused the corporate world with the ‘sharing and caring’ environment.

Some when they gained their Advanced Communicator Bronze, ACB … they perceived it as ‘Alright Can Boast’ … “what title are you ah? Oh, CC only ah … I ACB wor (I better)” It’s when they come face-to-face with a DTM then they keep quiet. Then they will scramble to rush through the program to get their DTM to feed their ego again.

The Titles We Bare in results may affect the Treatment we receive.


Personally for me, do agree that titles plays an important role … it helps is to gauge our progress in whatever we do. However, those titles are given by people and it could also be easily taken away. What is important is true meaning behind the title and how it helps you to reflect in your heart.

At the end of it all, all of us will receive the same title. R.I.P. .

Steven Covey teaches us to ‘Begin with the End in Mind’.

Generally it means ‘Rest In Peace’ but sometime even when one is gone, there is no peace because of the legacy that was left behind. So ladies and gentlemen, let us not be so caught up with titles and continue to do what is good for the betterment of all. Be a good son/daughter, be a good employee/manager, be a GREAT Toastmaster.

The Titles We Bare affects our legacy.

So that when we go, we will be according this unofficial title, ‘Remembered In Praise’.

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