Is personal development for the effective executive?

DeLores Pressley, Motivational Speaker and Personal Power Expert

Personal development is sometimes labeled (mislabeled I think) self-help. Whatever we call it, this niche in the market is something that most of us have encountered at one point or another.

It’s so weird to call it a niche when the self-help/personal development market was worth a whopping 9.6 billion dollars (just in the United States) back in 2005. It’s all around us and growing on a daily basis.

Personal development is out there for the athlete, the work at home mom and the entrepreneur — but is it really for the executives of our local or global companies? As a motivational speaker, confidence coach and personal power expert, I think you know my answer is very much yes.

So let’s take a look at how personal development can have a positive impact on your life as an executive. As we do this, let me first clear up a misconception. You will need to hear me out on this if you are to gain an understanding on how you can use the power of personal development in your life and business.

For some, personal development has developed a bad name over the years. It has been aligned with many companies, especially network marketing companies that have used it in weird and quirky manner — a manner that it never was meant to be used.

Personal development is not the answer to all of life’s problems. It will not solve every pain that ails you, nor will it make you a millionaire. It is not a personal panacea that requires you to simply read a book or listen to a CD or watch a DVD and KABOOM — all your problems are gone and you are instantly successful, wealthy and wise.

As an executive I want you to think of personal development like training, instruction or education. Training, instruction, education, coupled with a lot of hard work and persistence is what you have used to get where you are in business today right? It is no secret that you, and everyone else, were not born with everything you need to succeed in life and business.

It takes development — both physically and mentally. That is where personal development enters your picture. It is the trainer for your mind like your trainer at the gym works with your body. Personal development, while not an answer for everything, strengthens the areas of your life like personal power and confidence and the will to act.

Let’s look at a brief example of how an executive can use personal development to his or her benefit.

The smart executive can use personal development to work as an effective leader.

It was the famous football coach Vince Lombardi who said:

“Leaders aren’t born, they are made.”

I agree completely.

An effective leader can use the teachings of personal development to understand that in order to lead others; you must first be able to lead yourself. Leading yourself involves a few factors:


Self-discipline allows us to function in the workplace in a way where we are able to regulate and correct ourselves for the sake of improvement. With self-discipline we work and act in such a way that others see us as confident. People follow confident leaders.


Self-control keeps our impulses in check. Have you seen so called leaders that fly off the handle at seemingly any little thing? Personal development teaches, trains, and educates leaders to have control of their impulses, desires or emotions.


Smart, effective executives need to be able to communicate well. Personal development instructs leaders that in order to communicate well with others, you need to be able to communicate well with yourself.

Here’s what I mean. Communication is about a dialogue that is both without and within. In order to have a positive dialogue with a person or an organization, an effective leader must have an ongoing inner dialogue that is positive and affirming. When this is present, the leader can then use that positive, affirming self-dialogue to effectively communicate with the people who depend on him.

These examples just scratch the surface of the powerful training that personal development can offer the effective executive.

Have I made my case that personal development is for you?

DeLores Pressley, Motivational Speaker and Personal Power Expert, is one of the most respected and sought-after experts on success, motivation, confidence and personal power. She is an international keynote speaker, author, life coach and the Founder of the Born Successful Institute and DeLores Pressley Worldwide. She helps individuals utilize personal power, increase confidence and live a life of significance. Her story has been touted in The Washington Post, Black Enterprise, First for Women, Essence, New York Daily News, Ebony and Marie Claire. She is a frequent media guest and has been interviewed on every major network: (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX) including America’s top rated shows; OPRAH and Entertainment Tonight.

She is the author of Oh Yes You Can, Clean Out the Closet of Your Life and Believe in the Power of You. To book her as a speaker or coach, contact her office at 330.649.9809 or via e-mail at [email protected] or visit her site at