Finding your voice when called upon

At the end of February, my husband’s prayers were answered.

I had laryngitis for three days after battling a nasty head cold. (This revelation earned applause
from some Ambassadors as well. I’m sensing a theme here …)

Tammy Wellbrock, Hays Chamber of Commerce Executive Director

Tammy Wellbrock, Hays Chamber of Commerce Executive Director

During these three quiet days, I was scheduled to facilitate for Leadership Hays, participate on a conference call, lead a Chamber Chat and emcee the Monthly Membership Lunch.

All of these tasks I enjoy, but they are difficult to accomplish with no speaking voice.

It took losing my talking ability to help me realize how fortunate all of us are at the chamber, especially me. What I witnessed were others stepping up to be my “voice.”

Literally, others had to do the speaking for me. Thankfully, the foresightedness of the Leadership Hays facilitators had us engaging and developing others to help for times such as this. Those “newbies” were ready to go at a moment’s notice, and they did excellent!

Developing and cross-training within the office also has been a priority. For instance, Kathy spoke on behalf of the financials with our accountant, while Celeste spoke at the Chamber Chat, and Jessica made her speaking debut during our monthly lunch.

It certainly was challenging to not know if, or when, my voice would come back, so plans had to be adjusted at the last moment.

While all made their parts look easy and natural, I know some nerves were hidden beneath the polished and professional manners.

Regardless of the role or task, everyone knew exactly what needed to be said and how to share it. I was so comforted to be able to lean on a talented group of people when I couldn’t be the “expert” at the time. The only thing greater than knowing I am surrounded by talented and gifted team members, is to watch them shine in the spotlight.

While unplanned, this exercise in leadership development was a success, proving to the entire chamber membership they are not just in good hands, but they have strong voices speaking on their behalf.

Tammy Wellbrock is executive director of the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information on chamber activities, membership or benefits, visit

  • Uncle Thomas

    what we wont print to fill space.