Changing lives

A desire to lead a more meaningful existence led Debbie to leave her corporate work to become a founding partner of John Maxwell’s team of Coaches, Trainers and Speakers.

Debbie has been married for almost 17 years to Ryno, the love of her life and has two truly awesome kids – Arno (13) and Chloé (10) – one of the greatest privileges of her life.

Debbie is an international speaker and a Founding Partner of John Maxwell’s team of Coaches, Trainers and Speakers and has been trained and certified by John and his faculty personally. She is also co-author of the internationally published book “The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide to Emotional Well Being”.

Debbie worked in South Africa’s corporate environment for 15 years. During this time she received one national and four company awards. Although still in the corporate environment, she is passionate about motivational speaking and training people on the subject of leadership and personal growth. She also ministers at churches, speak at women’s events across the country, motivate and help teachers and hosts women’s and teachers’ camps. She has had the privilege to teach thousands of people throughout South Africa, England and Swaziland.Some of her clients are the major banks, insurance companies, attorneys, realtors, accounting firms, medical aid companies and school across South Africa.

What my job entails … I do one-on-one coaching for professionals and private clients. I also do couples couching on marriage and raising kids. My big passion is the audience – I love teaching in the corporate environment on subjects such as leadership, growth, attitude and I also do team buildings and special events.

What I love about my job… What brings me to tears is when people’s lives change. There is nothing like walking in a mall and someone grabs me from behind, hugs me and says that my talk saved their marriage or stopped them from committing suicide. I think that people’s lives are many times messed up, because they are stuck on believing lies. I believe with all my heart that I was born to expose lies so that people could have the opportunity to choose truth and change. And I don’t teach anything that didn’t change me first! If it changed me, I know it can change others!

What sparked my love for personal and leadership growth…? John Maxwell sparked my love for leadership when I first met him when I was only 20 years old, sitting in a three day conference with him. His book, “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”, changed the way I viewed my life in terms of personal growth. Instead of just going through life, I am now intentionally growing through life.

My leadership …is influence. If I can’t influence someone, I can’t lead them. So I would describe my leadership style as influential leadership. I want to influence people for positive change in their own lives.

My failure and how did I got over it…I have encountered failure many times in my life but I’ll tell you about one. I just started out as a speaker, when I went to speak to a youth group one night on the subject of bullying and personal leadership. I was so disappointed when only about 10 people came and I allowed my disappointment to show in my talk. I am embarrassed to say that that evening I gave my worse talk ever. I wasted their time (thankfully it was a free event so I didn’t waste their money)! When we left, my husband asked me: “Where was your energy? Your talk was boring!” I felt terrible and vowed to never again talk to an audience, whether they were 2 or 200 people, without energy and passion. So how do I get over any failure? I evaluate, ask myself tough questions and grow (make the changes necessary to become better than what I was).

Building a successful brand… The one thing I have going for me is passion – passion for people and for teaching. Without that, I would not have been able to build my brand. I think the second thing needed is talent. Why talent? Because I might love singing, but no one will pay one penny to hear me sing. Unless you do what you are good at (talent), and what you love (passion), you will not be able to grow yourself or your business. Talent points to what you should do and passion will help you do it extraordinary well.

Advice to my younger self… Start growing! I waited far too long before I started focusing on growth. John Maxwell’s dad had his kids in a growth plan since the age of 13! They were reading books he picked for them and that was what they discussed around the dinner table. That was also the only way they could get pocket money – if they were reading their books. What a brilliant dad!

My advice to someone

People believe lies about themselves. Lies like “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t know enough” or “I’m not thin enough” or “I won’t amount to anything” (or whatever your lie is). All these lies keep us hostage to an unfulfilling life. And literally all it is a deceitful thought that we believe as truth. If you could decide today that you are going to refuse to believe that you are not good enough, your life will already start to change. Lies that we believe about ourselves are only thoughts that we make up (or someone told us) and we choose to believe it. We have power over our thought-life. We can choose.

What people say about Debbie?

“Debbie is one of the best, if not the best guest speaker, I have ever had at my Woman@Work Events.  She is a fantastic speaker that is both inspiring and motivational.  She talks from the heart with such passion and delivers her message and topic with style.  I can strongly recommend her talks to anyone of any age.”

~ Mrs. Toni Mackrell (Woman@Work – Ladies Networking Organization& Events)

“Personally, I must admit that Debbie’s interventions have certainly brought about a change in me. Whether it is handling conflict, dealing with difficult situations or my personal life, much has changed. During the last session, Debbie asked a few of us how the sessions impacted us and also asked me specifically. I remained silent because I didn’t know where to start. And if I did, we would not have had time. Much of her teachings resonate with me and I try to remember them and then live them in each situation.”

~ Segment CFO (FNB, South Africa)