Toast of Mensa, how I missed you! (And Rediscovering Bill Gates)

This club was one of the first to go when I buried myself in INNODEV. Though I enjoy our Toast of Mensa meetings, the nature of the club is very cerebral. I realized I needed all my brain cells (and more) for INNODEV three months ago. Anyway, since everyone assumes that I’m going to graduate, I attended last night’s ToM meeting.

Before that, I was listening to a lot of interesting conversation pieces on the way to Mej’s place.

99% of Filipinos equate leadership with being bida.
This from Vivien. I agree. After working under different bosses (including myself), I had known for a long time now that being the leader doesn’t mean you have to command anyone. Being a leader means you make things happen through people without necessarily being bossy. You move things around, and sometimes you have to soil your own hands if need be. Being a leader means you can be afraid to make mistakes because your decisions have great impact, but you accept feedback because you know that it’ll help you grow. Being a leader means you also have to be a good follower because you recognize another good leader when you see one.

I remember when an APPROJ2 student of mine approached me because she had a problem with her group’s clash of wills (members were divided into two factions). I gave her a few suggestions and I told her that whatever she chose to do, I trusted her judgment calls because of the way she worked. During the exhibit, she also informed us of how one member had a last minute heavy problem, while asking if it’s going to affect that member’s grade. I saw the concern she had for that member and desire she had to reach out, while wrestling with her decisions and sense of responsibility. I told Gerard later on that even if she isn’t the highest or the most artistic in her batch, this girl can make things happen. She is creative director material and he agreed. The judges saw nothing of the problem when they went to her group’s exhibit and their group became one of the highest contenders for the first place.

Sometimes, leaders are easily the ones with the most talent and people skills. But usually, they’re the ones who know how to put others’ skills to good use and identifying where pieces of the puzzle fit.

The scariest Table Topics ever.
Vivien was Table Topics Master and she creatively came up with a set of hot orange flash cards that had comic strips pasted on them. We get to pick one, re-enact that and then deliver a short speech about them. I didn’t want to speak today because I had about three stomatitises (singaw), but I was volunteered. I was also quite scared of the flash cards because it meant that I’d have to translate something kiddie to something very real. Since it was Peanuts, bless Charles Schulze’s soul, I told the group that I could either talk about setting a great example or security blankets. I chose the latter because it seemed easier (or so I thought, turned out that the former was easier).

When I sat back down, I told Tommy that that was really the scariest Table Topics I’ve ever undergone. My fried brain, apparently, has not yet returned to its normal state. He said, “Good. If you’re not nervous anymore, it means you’re not learning anything.”

Gerry’s Speech
We had a guest speaker from another Toastmasters club and he expounded on Bill Gates’ words. They were pretty interesting and I wanted to take down notes. Tommy said I could search for them on the internet. No matter how many people profess to hate Bill Gates, probably for being filthy rich or for trying to one-up so many other companies before he turned over Microsoft’s reins, hearing those words last night made me realize how wise that man had become. (That is, if he really did come up with them.) I concur with nearly all points made…

For those who are interested in reading Bill Gates’ (alleged) 11 Rules for Young People:

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your
Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually
have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

COMMENTS from the old blog:

drewbocz wrote on May 1, ’07
Yeah, that thing from Bill Gates was supposedly from a commencement speech he gave somewhere…made the email rounds around a couple of years ago. I also have the Steve Jobs commencement speech. Have you read that one?

vagrantpsychotic wrote on May 1, ’07
11 rules for young people = cold hard truth.
Steve Jobs’ commencement speech is good too.
And its not as scalding as Bill’s.

skysenshi wrote on May 2, ’07
i’m reading it now, and it’s pretty good. plus i’m an apple person, hehe. i like steve jobs. ^_^

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