For over 20 years, I have been blessed with great coaches and mentors that have guided me both formally and informally to awaken my potential, improve my leadership skills, and find both focus and joy in my life. There is no doubt in my mind that my "personal development team" helped me thrive over the years and shined the light on how to navigate the many storms that have come my way.

Your personal development team should have three foundational members. Here is my take on how I think of each:  

1. Coaching: A formal, disciplined executive coach or accountability coach helps me think through challenges unemotionally, ensure clarity of focus, stay on what matters most, and grow personally and professionally.

2. Mentoring: Focus on mentors with different skill sets. I have some that are more strategic thinkers, others who are great at investment models, and one who helps me with inspiration and staying focused on my life priorities.

3. Learning: Today, it is easy to learn every day if you focus on it, and it doesn't have to only be about business. Learn more about your business discipline, what is happening in the world and how it will affect you and your work and family, learn to cook something new, or learn a hobby. I have a few go-to learning organizations both inside and outside of Aspire's world.

For me, the benefits of formal coaching has been invaluable. When it is done well, it ensures self-reflection, prohibits self-deception, and sets a platform of accountability and growth. 

I have wondered at times, "do I really need my coach right now" and at the risk of sounding co-dependent… I have found that I have had extraordinary gains. I see my "coach" like a gym trainer for the mind instead of the body. A trainer, like a coach, requires participation and commitment to meeting your goals.

A conservative estimate of the monetary payoff from coaching, according to Fortune magazine, is that managers describe an average return of more than six times the cost of coaching. Companies that combine coaching with training increase employee productivity by over 80%. Other returns include:

Benefits to Companies that Provide Coaching Benefits Realized by Employees as a Result of Coaching Increased productivity Improved working relationships with direct reports Higher quality Improved working relationshi

There has never been a more important time for leaders to think, prepare, and move with clarity. 

Leaders are our way forward.

Leaders shine the light for us. 

We must invest in ourselves and our leaders to ensure we are equipped with the best mindset, clarity of direction, and the skills and processes needed to help our businesses thrive and our economy to recover.

All in, Renie