Amber Howard

Every individual, personally or professionally, paints a picture of their life based on their own parameters for success and happiness. However, most individuals’ thought process has been largely influenced by well-meaning adults, peers, and even society as a whole. So, is our almost innate need to belong or be accepted stopping us from truly reaching our potential and achieving our dreams? That is the question we need to be asking ourselves. If the answer to this question was a resounding yes, then the next question we need to ask is, how do we go about it? Coaching and mentoring programs are gaining traction as it is believed to help individuals identify their weaknesses, strengths, opportunities, goals, and threats, which can then be utilized to develop personalized strategies to achieve desired objectives.

Holding one of the leadership positions in this domain is Amber Howard, a well-renowned consultant, leadership coach, instructor, speaker, and author. She says, “I believe we all have the strength and ability to overcome adversity, but sometimes we need a little help to get started. That’s where I come in. I’m here to provide the awareness, tools, and resources people need to build resilience and create positive change in their lives. I’m also committed to partnering with individuals, families, and communities to create lasting change. Together, we can build a world that is more resilient, equitable, and just.” She has several programs, techniques, and tools designed to empower individuals to fulfill their dreams.

Achieve Personal Goals

She elucidates that whether she is working with her consulting or coaching clients, the process is always the same and yet produces powerful results. She quotes Soren Kierkegaard – “Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forwards,” as she explains to us the process involved once she on-boards a client. To determine the client’s coaching needs, Amber guides them through the process of identifying their future self in terms of their career or personal development. She then assesses their current state. This involves understanding the client’s existing skills, knowledge, and abilities. She then proceeds to locate the gaps between the current and future state of the client. Once the needs have been penned down, she goes on to architect customized solutions that will help bridge this gap and achieve the end results within a shorter timeframe. This may involve developing new skills, knowledge, or behaviors. It is important to tailor the training program to each individual’s needs to maximize effectiveness. “Making sure my clients have clearly defined goals that are worthy of their lives is a vital part of the process. I believe that goals are our access to growing as human beings. Results are an important byproduct of the process and less important than the new awareness, skills, and tools we develop to create the results. We must have goals bigger than our current knowledge of how to achieve them to grow,” opines Amber.

Meeting Organizational Needs

In the same way, the power of coaching and mentoring programs can be harnessed to inspire employees, thus boosting company productivity and success. An organization is only as good as its workforce. And so, high-performance businesses are increasingly acknowledging that such programs are key components of modern managerial practice. Amber leads us along the journey of her training programs implemented within organizations. She reveals that when designing a training program, it is important to consider the specific goals and objectives of the organization. Once these have been identified, a curriculum can be created that targets the skills and knowledge employees need to improve.

Regarding leadership coaching, various methodologies can help leaders effectively manage their teams. One popular approach is action learning, which involves leader reflection and peer support to create an environment conducive to change. By carefully assessing the needs of an organization, it is possible to develop a training program that will effectively meet its goals. “As a leadership coach, I work with individuals and groups to help them develop their skills and reach their potential. My work is based on the latest research in the field of psychology and coaching, and I employ a variety of effective methodologies to help my clients reach their goals,” says Amber.

Delving deeper into the content aspect of the training program, Amber divulges that it constitutes three main pillars: self-awareness, skill development, and goal setting. This method helps clients to attain a greater understanding of themselves and their strengths and weaknesses. “From there, we focus on developing specific skills to help them meet their goals. Finally, we set measurable goals that they can work towards to track their progress. This holistic approach has proven to be highly effective in helping my clients achieve lasting success,” adds Amber.

Ensuring Customer Delight

She recounts one of her most successful training initiatives was a resilience-building program she and her team ran for a large financial services organization. The client’s company was undergoing significant change, and many employees struggled to cope with the associated stress and uncertainty. The training program helped employees develop the skills and resilience needed to effectively manage change. It also included a strong focus on self-care, a key success factor. Amber proudly declares, “The company reported significant improvements in employee engagement and productivity, and we continue to receive positive feedback from participants. We know the training was successful because it produced tangible results consistent with the program’s goals.”

Having established her consulting and leadership coaching business seven years ago, Amber has worked with many clients. This valuable experience helped her learn about herself and what it takes to be a successful leader.

The Road to Success!

She remembers how she was always academically well-adjusted. Being pregnant with her eldest son at the age of 16, she dropped out of high school and worked two customer service jobs to support her children in her late teens. She rediscovered her love for learning in her early twenties as she chose to go back to school to get her undergraduate degree. She gained certificates, personally and professionally, that she believes have transformed every area of her life, helping her become the leader she is admired for today. She learned some valuable lessons that she imparts to us, like how we must set goals and work hard to achieve them. She also learned the importance of resilience in the face of adversities and gratitude for everything achieved so far. “I have always been driven to achieve growth in my personal and professional life. In my career, I have pushed myself to take on new challenges and learn new skills, even when it meant stepping outside my comfort zone. I believe that this willingness to face my fears and embrace change has been a key factor in my success as a leader,” adds Amber.

Advice to Women Seeking to Join the Top Management Space

As a female in the top management space, she shares with us a few pointers that she feels will lead to becoming a successful woman leader. Apart from defining the purpose and goals, she encourages women to ask for help when needed. Reaching out to others in their time of need can be viewed as a sign of strength. Lastly, always remember that one is never alone. Many women have walked the same path and continue to do so. And as such, seeking out guidance and wisdom is encouraged. “Through my challenges and triumphs, I have continued to grow and develop as a leader, and I am excited to see what the future holds,” says Amber.

A driving force at her tech startup that is impact driven, she and her team are currently working on a few different projects. Still, the main goal is to create technology to improve collaboration and partnership in the impact sector. Amber has also dedicated her time to writing a book about success and happiness. She concludes, “My hope is that by sharing my ideas, people will understand how inquiring into our existing standards and creating new ones is vital in designing a life you love based on what you authentically want.”

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