The Leading Edge: Beyond the Sky
Sometimes I stand in awe of how I’ve moved from where I once was to where I am today.
I am not astounded by physical, geographical, or career changes in my life, but by the changes in my heart and the person that I have become. Knowing what I know of my own journey, I now sincerely believe that I have absolutely no idea how far I can go. Some say that the sky’s the limit. I believe that we can all grow beyond the sky.
I am a Caribbean Island girl who grew up in various small villages in Trinidad, the larger of my beautiful twin island country of Trinidad and Tobago. My father managed the cocoa estates of a large plantation owner and we pretty much lived on each of the estates spread throughout the southern part of our island. I can boast that even though I attended at least seven different primary schools I earned sufficiently high grades to get into my preferred high school in town. We had no cities back then.
I graduated from high school, attended our local university, earned a degree in agriculture and was immediately accepted into our local Agricultural Development Bank. I spent thirty years of my life there learning credit, marketing, management, and many aspects of business. I worked hard, enjoyed helping others to grow and develop, and progressed up the corporate ladder eventually attaining a position on the executive team.
At one point I grew restless and wanted to leave but I could not figure out what I wanted to do.
By chance, I saw Les Brown in a video speaking, motivating, and helping others to grow. At that time, I didn’t think that I could do what he was doing so I stayed at the Bank for another fifteen years. Eventually, local politics changed and all except one member of the executive team were pressured out of the Bank.
Surprisingly, I must admit that leaving was not as difficult a decision for me as I thought it would be, especially as one of my greatest fears was losing my financial independence. A louder voice was screaming in my ear that, “This is not the best you can do. It is time for you to grow!”
Over the years that I was at the Bank, I grew. I did not grow intentionally. Instead, I grew purely from hard work, an inherent desire to excel, and through consistency. Perhaps that is what drew me to become a member of the John Maxwell Team. My desire to help others grow into the best they could be, coupled with the development philosophy that I was immersed in during my stay in the Bank. I wanted to help to develop people, not just with their agricultural business projects, but helping them know who they are and be who they dream of becoming. I quickly learned from my mentor John Maxwell that “You cannot give what you do not have.”
For me to help others grow, I first had to grow myself.
I thought, “Piece of cake, how hard could this be?” But five years later, being a member of the John Maxwell Team Mentorship program, attending six International Maxwell Live Events, being a coach on transformational initiatives to the countries of Guatemala and Paraguay, hosting all three Live2Lead leadership simulcast conferences, I don’t believe I am done yet. I have friends and colleagues in dozens of countries all over the world that I learn from and with. Friends that I have shared some of our delicious local cocoa with.
At home, I have worked with several private business and state organizations, coaching and growing their leaders and teams, creating believers in the process of growth and seeing tangible improvements in awareness, empowerment, and business results. I have formed a team of colleagues who are like-minded, share a similar vision and values, and we work effectively together to bring transformation to our own country. I have come a long way from the small island country girl moving from village to village.
One of my favorite mentors, Christian Simpson, taught me that “Formal education might equip you well enough to get a job, but only self-education equips you to be a success.” Life has its twists and turns. Over the last few years, navigating through my trials and successes, I have learned to trust in the infinite potential that God has placed within each one of us. I have realized that the more that I grow, the more that I recognize how much further I can go. When we follow His purpose for our lives, with courage and consistency, knowing that He has equipped us with all we need to succeed, then the sky is no longer the limit. We can grow beyond the sky!
Monica Rogers-Fletcher is an independent certified business success coach, mentor & trainer in leadership trained by John Maxwell and his team of mentors. Monica imagines a world where people value people; where each person undertakes a journey of personal growth to reach their God-given potential, and is willing to help others to learn and grow. She imparts her teachings to increase conscious awareness in business leaders and their teams to increase their success. Her clients get clarity on their purpose, focus on their priorities and become more intentional in getting better results so that they reach their highest professional and business potential.
With 30 years of experience in development banking at senior and corporate levels she can ably relate to the challenges faced by business leaders. Among her cherished experiences were journeying with John Maxwell and his team of coaches to Guatemala in June 2013 and to Paraguay in February 2016 to effect leadership transformation in those countries. She is trained and ready to equip real people with real challenges with the tools they need to change their thinking, actions, and behavior and ultimately their circumstances and results.