As a business coach and life consultant for almost 20 years, Dr. Cherry Collier had a lot of knowledge to impart to those seeking to improve life and leadership skills. She had already written Move Out of Your Own Way to help readers do just that, but she wanted to assist others in taking their efforts to the next level.
To coach readers in self-improvement as best as she could, Dr. Collier penned a series of books titled The Science and Art of Success. In these books, she breaks down how to better yourself in areas such as communication, corporate behavior, conflict resolution, and other topics.
We spoke to Dr. Collier and she explained why The Science and Art of Success series is better than your average self-help method and what inspires her to lead others to success.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The truth is, every time I finished with a speaking or coaching engagement, someone would ask me, “How can I buy your book?” But I’d respond and say, “I don’t have a book.” I felt I was being selfish with my content, because I was not able to share my knowledge and skills when I was not physically present. I could only help my clients in person. I thought of [writing] books as a way to multiply myself to move out of my own way in a simple manner.
I also believe that we all have a story inside of us. I encourage people to share what they have with others. If you don’t tell your story, someone might miss a valuable lesson. We were born to share our story. I pride myself in encouraging others to share their stories, too. My best friend, Shanti Das, [The Hip Hop Professional 2.0]; and my cousin, Marci Overstreet, [Mommy Knows Best: Business Etiquette] are examples of how I love to encourage others to share their stories.
What inspired you to write your last book?
The last books that I published are part of a series called The Science and Art of Success. I wrote this series of books to help people become successful in specific competencies that I think people need to be successful in — at home, at work, and in their community. I made them very simple so that it could be used to quickly help anyone build his or her soft skills. The reason I wrote the series is I saw a gap in the development of leaders. I think that leaders focus too much on the competencies that are related to technical skills at work. They do not spend much time on the soft skills.
As an executive coach, I see leaders who struggle with soft skills. It seems many leaders have blind spots they are unaware of. My series is designed to close these gaps.
What can readers expect from The Science and Art series?
[Readers] can expect quick strategies to help them improve on specific competencies. They can use these strategies for quick implementation and change. For example, “emotional intelligence” is a buzz word, but you might not know quick ways to develop this competency. My books focus on soft skills that people need to get to the next level.
I took the common pitfalls that leaders face and translated them into simple strategies and tools that help people develop personally and professionally. I have books related to communication, women in leadership, and much more. We don’t know what we don’t know, and I wanted to help us know better, so we can do better! This series is just like CliffsNotes to help people identify challenges and improve quickly.
There are 100 books in the vault. We will be releasing all 76 books within the year. I also plan to help more people write more books and use my series to let them know it is possible.
You wear many hats as a businesswoman and professional. Which of your responsibilities or occupations is most fulfilling and why?
I get to do so many things that I love. I get to be an executive coach, a professor of Positive Psychology at Life University, a corporate speaker, [and] a life consultant for a lot of people. I lead a very fulfilling life. The most fulfilling is the opportunity to let people know how awesome they are. As a woman in business, I have to work harder than my male counterparts at times, and I believe in the work I do. I love working with a team, a business owner, or a student and helping them move out of their own way to the success that is waiting on them. I love being an instrument to help people become successful. It is an amazingly rewarding experience.
Who or what motivates you the most in your life?
I am internally driven, and I am intrinsically motivated. I am driven to constantly move out of my own way so that I can be my best self. This motivation helps me to help other people do the same. The world being a beautiful place is what really motivates me. I find the good and see the good in all situations! I want people to have a different mindset that empowers them. I have been very blessed to have an awesome village of family and friends. I believe in the power of the community. My mother sacrificed a lot for me to be successful, and I work hard to be sure she has every little need she wants taken care of. She placed me in a loving and supportive environment at all times, and this love motivates me to reach back and help others.
What made you want to start coaching?
I wanted the world to have an alternative to therapy. I believe in the power of positive thinking, a mindset that enables and empowers you. Coaching comes from a positive psychology standpoint. It focuses on what is right with you. Traditional psychology focuses on what is wrong. I am interested in helping people focus on what is good.
I started coaching in 1998 to help people recognize they have choices. I wanted to help people remove limiting beliefs so they could have the life they were born to live. I am a master certified coach who likes to help people with both the science and art of success. I want people to fundamentally understand what it means to be successful and equip them with skills that help them stay successful.
What are your top three favorite books and why?
Move Out of Your Own Way is my favorite book because it is my journey, my path, my evolution. It shows how I was unwilling to change. I was not flexible before, and I did not realize what was blocking me from success. I was not able to take ownership of my life, and the book shows how I realized the only person that can stop me from succeeding was me. It was the greatest “aha” moment for me. I wrote this book in 2004, and it presents my life journey and evolution on paper.
Another book that I love is The Game of Life by Florence Scovel Shinn. I did not read this book until 2005. It was suggested to me by others that read it and found that it was very similar to my book. The way the author deals with mindset, and the principles that she has for affirmations are very powerful. This is a must-read.
Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute is another favorite book of mine. I love that book because it talks about how leaders deceive themselves and how we don’t intentionally do this. We are not always 100 percent honest with ourselves. When we peel back at the layers of the onion, and when we look inside, we can see the mistakes that we are making. This book identifies your blind spots.
What books are you currently reading?
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Blind Spot by Laura Ellen, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t by Jim Collins, Influence by Robert Cialdini, and The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz.
Tell us about any future projects you have lined up.
I am creating a mini-coaching university where people will be able to come from all over the world to get help and improve specific soft skills that will allow for success at home, at work and in the community. I want every person to be able to afford to have a coach. Coaching makes us better! The virtual university will teach core coaching skills and all the soft skills in the science and art empowerment series. The goal is preparing people for success!
Finally, I also plan on helping more people get books out. We all have a story. What will yours be?
Follow Dr. Cherry Collier on Facebook and Twitter @drcherrycollier and Instagram @drcherrycoaching. For more information on Personality Matters, Inc. coaching, visit drcherrycoaching.com or send Dr. Collier an email at [email protected] to schedule an appointment.