Diversity Woman Magazine

SUM 2019

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m S u m m e r 2 0 1 9 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 27 By Erin Chan Ding W hen she started her own business, Emily Bermes heard from a bevy of detrac- tors. Even her own mother told her she would fail. As did her then husband. Wracked with doubt, Bermes felt she needed an outside stabilizing force, one who would push her, stretch her, encour- age her, and give her the confidence to stay on her career path. She decided to hire an executive coach. An executive coach herself, Bermes feels certain that her own investment in executive coaching helped her succeed in an industry in which growing one's own firm and client base remains grueling. "I was an absolute chicken when I start- ed this," admits Bermes, CEO of Emily Bermes + Associates in Fort Wayne, Indi- ana. "I still started the busi- ness, which now feels sort of brave, but oh my gosh, I needed so much help. I was so shy. I didn't know how to put myself out there. Every- thing intimidated me. And now I'm like, 'Put me in front of anybody. I'll be fine.'" at was 20 years ago, and her firm now maintains various US offices and has cli- ents that include multinational companies. ISTOCKPHOTOS She credits her sustained growth in part to 15 years of executive coaching, which helped her understand where she was lim- iting herself, where her fear limited her, and how to push past the fear. Hiring a coach, she says, "got me to that next professional level. Without the sup- port of a neutral party challenging those doubtful forces, it would have been very difficult to do alone." Over the past decade, executive coaching has changed in both perception and practice. Sharon Krohn, who runs an executive coaching and consulting business based in Chicago, says that in the past people thought of executive coaching as remediation for a manager or leader, as a way to correct inef- fective leadership. We Mean Business > Accelerate Entrepreneurs and executives alike are elevating their careers with an executive coach Innovate Your Leadership Presence

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