Like you , Leadership Coach and Business Owner Daniella Wade has seen and experienced effective leadership in numerous ways, over the years. What qualifies as a good leader? Is it the way the person dresses, walks or talks? Is it only required in specific situations? Is Leadership a natural born quality, can it be learned? Or is it just something that only a few people will ever truly understand, and capitalize upon?With over 10 years experience, in a range of Leadership roles including Entrepreneurship, Insurance Sales, Network Marketing, Coaching, Speaking and most importantly, real life experience, her view has been refined after seeing the transformation of persons under the right circumstances. Daniella appreciates and shares with her current team that we all have a leader within us, it is a continuous decision, and we should strive to ensure that we develop this important quality to live our lives fully.
After being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition 2 years ago, Daniella realised even more the need to be proactive with life and situations encountered. By taking charge of yourself, what you can do, and helping others do the same, Daniella has shown her team that duplication of success starts from within. She shows you how you can become a leader in your own right, simply by embracing your natural talents, and not copying the style of another.
Her successes include being recognised at top levels for her outstanding achievements in the Insurance Sales industry. More recently, she has created duplicable success in two Network Marketing companies, to grow significant teams, achieve top ranks, with no prior experience in this industry, and both mainly built online and through social media. Daniella Wade is the first and only person in Trinidad & Tobago to be an Ambassador in her current company, and she is also the first and only female in the Caribbean region to achieve this title. She is one of three women at this top level, in a company of over seven thousand representatives, a title which was achieved within her first 30 days of business.
Daniella Wade is an Independent Coach, Teacher and Speaker with the John Maxwell Team, and continues to work with persons from different levels, to develop their leadership genius. It is her greatest desire and plan to help everyone reach their true potential, and live the quality of life they deserve, by first understanding and then developing the leader within themselves.
RB: How has your Caribbean heritage influenced your leadership style?
DW: I grew up in a house where my father was a Soldier and my mother, a housewife. From that perspective, I understood the value of responsibility and hard work from my father, and from my mother I learned how to nurture and make things happen, whether I felt that I had the resources to or not. I also learned the art of resilience from my mother. The Caribbean lifestyle to me, is one of togetherness and fun. Our warm hospitality means we like to treat people as family. When it comes to discipline, Caribbean parents have a no nonsense approach. So my father was the natural disciplinarian, being in the army. But my mother was always there to soften the approach. She kept us more in line through her nurturing ways, so there was rarely any need for my father to step in. And when he did step in, he just needed to talk once, and that was it.
My leadership style reflects one of a family type structure. I don’t see you as a client, partner or mentee. I see you as a family member or a really good friend at least. That means that I am not afraid to be stern and say when I see persons going off track, or doing something that would be of detriment to them. But for the most part, my genuine nature to see others do better, and be the best version of themselves, is always at the forefront of my communication, in the words I use and my actions that follow suit. I try to communicate in the same tone as my mother, kind, calm and encouraging. And when necessary, like my father, sternly.
I also believe very strongly in authenticity. I believe in our multi-culturalism, there is so much beauty and talent in our diversity. We should embrace each other for our strengths, and work with each other to turn our weaknesses into opportunities.
RB: When did you know that leadership coaching was the right fit for you?
DW: This all happened by accident, or perhaps just a natural progression of life, I suppose. I started a Network Marketing business in December 2015, and I knew it would change my life and many others as well. In sharing the business and building a team, I realised that persons who joined me, did not have the strengths that I did. So I did what I thought any good person would do, I shared my talents with them, but I mainly shared how to change their mindsets to accomplish their goals. My team grew phenomenally, and then my role started changing. The more successful I saw my team becoming, the more I wanted to serve them. I was then labelled as a ‘Leader’ to my surprise. I felt that it was a talent that I could not deny any longer, and once developed, I could positively impact many more lives. So I took the plunge.
RB: What has your experience been like managing a disease whilst building a business?
DW: Honestly, It’s been a blessing. If I was not restricted or limited in terms of how persons traditionally do business, I’d have never had a need to start a Network Marketing Business, and grow it virtually, the way I did. I’d probably just do what everyone else did, and eventually become bored. The challenges, really do help with my growth as a non-traditional businesswoman. There have been times when I’m curled up in bed in pain, and, because I communicate mainly via text or what’s app, the person who I’m speaking to, never knows. They find out days later, or only if I’m having a phone conversation. Now that I’ve gone into Coaching, knowing my challenges, I can build a business around my needs. There are times that I don’t even venture to leave the house, so I schedule my virtual work then, meetings etc. Essentially, this has allowed me to create the life I never knew I wanted. But it certainly is what I needed.
RB: Tell us a little about how you work with your clients from beginning to end.
DW: Each person is different, and has different needs. So far my experience has been with members of my team, very informally, and where the needs are to reach a particular business goal. Becoming a leader is a never-ending, learning journey. My first step is to always ask what the person wants to achieve. Most people limit themselves to what they believe they can accomplish, so after I’ve listened to their goals, I push their thinking to see if that’s really where they want to be, or further. We then design a plan to achieve the bigger goal, foster it with the energy of other like-minded people, and once they are committed, they achieve the bigger goal and more. By doing this, they learn the power of being Intentional, and taking responsibility for their life and goals. Thus begins the transformation of the Leadership process. One of the main values I instill is that we need to take responsibility for, and help those in need of our help. We are Leaders building Leaders, by example. The people I have worked with usually say that I ‘get into their heads’ and I like that. My voice stays with them, and encourages them to do more. One of my goals is to create a community of Leaders, so that we always stay within the correct belief system, and continue to challenge ourselves, and others.
RB: How do you define leadership and what makes a great leader? Are they born or cultivated?
DW: I think a Leader is one who is willing to go before everyone, endure the risks, learn the lessons and then impart the knowledge to those willing to follow. We will all come into our life needs at some point in time, sometimes the things we may want to do, have never been done before, or done in a manner acceptable for us. A leader is willing to walk the unbeaten path, to show others the way. A great leader is selfless, and their vision is not limited to themselves or their families. It is often stretched to the unimagined persons, whom you have never met, but whom you know would one day benefit from the work you are doing, or have done.
While we are all born with unique qualities, I do believe that a true leader is cultivated by the environment they find themselves within. If you take two persons, with the same upbringing and talents, and you put one in a challenging environment, and the other stays in a familiar, comfortable zone, then the person with the challenges would be the one to develop their natural talents. They would be forced to do more, think more and be more to rise above the challenges presented. This is how leaders emerge, and are able to effectively show others a way ahead. It’s because, more often than not, they have gone the way themselves, and have lived to share the experience. The person who stayed in the comfortable zone, while still talented, has never been forced to develop or grow.
RB: Where do you see the future of coaching in the Caribbean region in the next 5, 10 years?
DW: I see a lot more Coaching practices being launched and established. It will become extremely important to create a business where the value offered is significant, and the focus clearly defined and communicated, in order for the practice to be viable. Network Marketing has taught me that if you want to become successful, the fastest way is to find a good mentor and be extremely coachable. In time, this idea will catch on to the mainstream audience. There are quite a few success stories around us, and many more persons desirous of attaining success in those areas. What is lacking is a network of people, who have achieved success in a particular area, and are willing to mentor others due to a fear of competition and market saturation. Coaches are emerging in many various fields, and I believe there will continue to be a market for everyone, as long as you can communicate your worth.
RB: As a coach and teacher how do you go about developing impactful programmes for your clients?
DW: Currently, I base a training module on what I think are the needs at that time. I teach from my heart, and incorporate my personal experience as an example of what can be done, or how I have utilized the knowledge and skill. Since I started the process of becoming certified by the John Maxwell Team, my training sessions, workshops and mastermind sessions will all be based on the teachings of John Maxwell. These are principles that I have learned, utilized and seen the tremendous benefit of implementing within my own life. So I know the value of sharing this foundation, of course with my unique flair and spin, with new clients growing and going forward will be a great starting point for anyone.
RB: What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into coaching?
DW: Do it, but first ask yourself why? Ensure that your reason is a selfless one, and that your greater goal is to serve someone before your personal needs. Yes, it’s a business, but we must always remember to put people before profits. To be called into service is a higher calling, in my opinion, and you should never reject or refuse. Always ensure that you endeavour to give your best, all of the time. This is not a profession where you can get by with mediocre effort. This is a life that you will be entrusted with taking to another level, and this should never be taken lightly.