Exclusive Interview with Mohammed Murad – Vice President, Toastmasters International

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Loy Machedo is a member of Lagoon Toastmasters Club and a world class Award Winning Speaker & Trainer, (Master Level NLP Coach, Co-active Coach & Life Coach). He is one of the rare talents whose speaking gift has many followers. People young and old, teachers, students, businessmen etc look up to him for his speaking and coaching skills. He has done numerous shows, gave many educational sessions, been an MC for events and the list goes on. This month he was selected as one of the speakers for TEDx Dubai, one of the most prestigious speaking events in the Middle East.

Recently he took an Exclusive Interview with the 2nd Vice President Toastmasters InternationalMohammed Murad. Read below. The interview is taken from his blog LoyMachedo.com created by goldcrab.com.


Mohammed MuradFor a man whom I have had the honor of knowing for the past 13 years, the unbelievable mixture of emotions it brings can only be seen by the silly silent smile I give myself.

The man whom I once met at a Toastmaster meeting somewhere in the year 2002 still remains blurred yet fresh. Dressed in a simple white Arabic Kandora, well groom, soft spoken with that famous Sylvester Stallone Smile. He was not very tall but had a larger than life persona. I mean the minute I met him, there was something absolutely charismatic about this man. He didn’t say much. Yet his smile, his serene demeanor and his subtle signature silence would say so much, that you would have to reflect to wonder what actually conspired.

Following that, I met him at his office. And Volia! what a difference.

The man whom I felt looked so angelic and child-like, was now in a full fledged functioning uniform. More like watching one of those Indian Movies where you get the hero of the movie walking in the Police Officers Dress – Looking Smart Savvy and Slick, he was dressed in full glory of the Prim Proper and Poised Policeman. And boy, was that a sight to behold.

There at the office, he was sharp. To the point. Polite yet Firm. Sensitive yet tough. He was the man who would get the job done. And being part of the Police Force was not the part where he would carry a gun in his smart police car making that errie noise that would scare off the bad guys – It was more of a man dedicated to making the city safe where the Ambulance Services would be provided to those in need. And where many a times it would save lives. Not just one. But also the lives of those others depended on. He kept the city of millions safe, secure and sound.

And finally, I saw him as a businessman. Brilliant, Buoyant and Bold. Where he made decisions fast. Though not as furious you would expect a car-action movie sequence. But good enough to know, you were in the presence of a man who may be didn’t know everything but was never scared to admit and learn new things to excellence.

Yes folks, with all those praises and admiration that falls a bit on the edge of flattery, I, his mentee, student and fan have been his follower for all these years. Where he saw me grow up, fall down, rise back up and make repeated mistakes – only to learn and evolve, I have watched this man, from being a slim slender sexy old young man, to an slim, slender, sexy young old man. The only thing that may never have changed, are his values, principles and morals.

So folks, once again, let me grace you with an Interview of this man who from being a toastmaster, today has created history by becoming the first ever Muslim Arab from Middle East to be given the honor of serving an organization of leaders globally. While he does not identify or box himself in the identity that I have put here as ‘Arab’ or ‘Muslim’, I have mentioned it more in terms of making us realize that there is so much beyond our prejudices and generalizations. And it is through him I have learnt and realized that we are all citizens of a Global community where though we are different by race, creed or culture, we are all in the end, just one big family. And what Mohammed Murad represents to me, is the breaking down of those barriers which a few people in the world created, but where countless want to break and bond together once again.

Having said this, I present to you the first ever exclusive interview with the 2nd International Vice President of Toastmasters – Distinguished Toastmaster Mohammed Murad.

Question 1. Why did you want to become the 2nd Vice President?
Because that was the only way I could fulfill my desire to serve. It is also for the inner satisfaction to know that I have been able to do something – even if little to contribute to the organization and people who have given me so much and the 270,000 members and for those who are yet to come.

Question 2. What were some of the biggest challenges you faced on the road to becoming the 2nd Vice President?
It was being able to maintain the momentum from the time that I decided to go for the position until the time the elections came about. The stamina. I mean because it takes a lot of it.

Question 3. Please elaborate
It is being able to have the right frame of mind all the time and being able to work according to very tight plans. And put all the pieces together for a successful election. Staying focused.

If you dream of doing something, just go ahead and do it.

Question 4. What would you do if you lost?
I would have continued to do the best in my capacity to benefit the organization and No (with a smile) I wouldn’t have run again.

Question 5. Why wouldn’t you run again?
Because I gave it all my best at the first attempt and I was not sure that I would have wanted to continue another year of that kind of commitment and sacrifice.

Question 6. They say, try, try till you succeed. Didn’t you believe in that principle?
Yes, I do believe in that principle. That is why after losing the first time as an International Direction, I once again ran for elections the following year. But running for 2nd International Director was a very different kind of commitment. And yes, the timing of running for the position was, as per my opinion the right moment as the changes which the organization was going through, was something I felt I could add most value to in terms of contributions to the board.

Question 7. What actually changed in the board that prompted you take part?
The new leadership direction.

Question 8. How much hard work, money and effort went into this process?
Lots.

Question 9. Is this process something only someone financially well off can go for?
No. It is about the person and not about the resources. I think in the ends it is conveying to the voters that you are the best they could vote for at that specific time.

Question 10. How many people formed your team?
I haven’t counted them but I believe they were around 20 to 25.

Question 11. Did anyone in your team give up or drop out?
No.

Question 12. Where there moments you felt the journey was now difficult or hard to continue?
No. Because the purpose was there from the beginning.

Question 13. Did well intentioned people tell you that you may not succeed?
Yes. Many.

Question 14. Tell us what went into the election process?
Election process starts from the day you decide you are running for the position. So it involves lot of detail planning, lot of networking, lot of goal setting, a lot of communication skills, a lot of leadership skills, a lot of visioning…. it is a total leadership experience.

Question 15. What did you love about the experience?
The wealth of information sharing that was there with all the districts and all the members and the whole journey was a different experience overall.

Question 16. What did you not like about the experience?
There was nothing I didn’t like but there was some things that were hard. Not even hard. Very hard. In the final stage there were three ballots that were going on……that was mind breaking…The wait to know if you won or lost….

Question 17. So you were nervous…?
Yes.

Question 18. Did you get emotional when you won?
If happy you mean…yes.

Question 19. Did you feel like crying with joy?
No.

Question 20. Tell us why should someone go through this process?
Because its worth it.

Question 21. Being a Muslim and an Arab – Didn’t that prejudice that the prejudiced & ignorant media has put on this identity have any impact?
No. Not what so ever. What I believe is that Toastmasters International and the member look at a member as a toastmaster first rather than where they are from and what religion they follow.

Question 22. How do you manage your business, social and personal responsibilities?
Time management.

Question 23. Is it easy?
Nothing is easy in this life.

Question 24. How did it feel when you finally won it?
(A big smile on his face followed by a deep sigh…..)
A big responsibility..A very big sense of responsibility.

Question 25. What is the one message you would like all the readers of this interview to receive?
If you dream of doing something, just go ahead and do it.

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