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Cory J. Anderson is a seasoned Personal Development Coach, and Children's Book Author committed to guiding individuals toward their full potential. With over 15 years of experience in coaching, multicultural education, and leadership programming, Cory brings a compassionate and non-judgmental approach to his work, empowering others through impactful coaching sessions and storytelling in his children's book Around the World I Go. This month, we are proud to feature Cory and his perspective on the topic of Sponsorship in our March issue of En Root. Check out our Q+A with the inspiring Cory below to learn a bit more about his professional journey and backstory.

This month's theme is all about the value of sponsorship. Tell us how this theme has played a role in your personal or professional life.

Sponsors have played a pivotal role in both my personal and professional journey. I'm immensely thankful for those who have advocated for me, whether by mentioning my name for job opportunities, suggesting me for new projects, or endorsing me to serve on a board. One memorable instance stands out: a sponsor recommended me for a role that had yet to be officially posted. They knew my desire for a new role with a shorter commute and had a keen understanding of my skills and interests. While I still had to perform well in the interview, having a sponsor put forward my name prior to the organization initiating a broader search undoubtedly provided a valuable advantage.

At OutGrowth, we believe in designing the space and time to reimagine the path forward. How do you believe that strong sponsorship can impact our perspective and influence our future decisions?

Sponsorship is a mutual exchange founded on relationships. Adopting this perspective can significantly shape our interactions with others. You never know who you encounter or collaborate with today might be able to support you in the future or vice versa. This is why I've always valued my mother's advice: never burn bridges, as you never know when you may need to lean on colleagues or friends for assistance down the road. Furthermore, when we enter rooms, particularly if we hold some level of influence, it's essential to advocate and be a sponsor for those who deserve a seat at the table. I've personally taken on the role of a sponsor on several occasions, endorsing businesses or individuals to ensure they receive support.

What is one hard lesson you learned in this past year that contributed to your growth? 

Over the past year, I've realized the importance of slowing down, practicing patience, and prioritizing what truly matters to me. Unfortunately, during this time, I experienced the loss of one of my fraternity brothers, which deeply affected my mental well-being. Amidst my heavy workload, I failed to allocate time to grieve and process this loss properly. Consequently, my performance suffered, and I struggled with communication within my team. This experience served as a lesson, highlighting the significance of allowing myself the space to acknowledge and process my emotions effectively, enabling me to be more present and engaged in both my personal and professional life.

What is one competency or skill you hope to develop in 2024 and beyond?

I want to continue working on my overall communication skills and being able to articulate when I need to say no, or at least not right now. I also hope to work on communicating the things I need and articulating how I bring value to those I work with.

What inspires you?

I'm inspired by people living fully in their gifts and talents. There's nothing quite like seeing a musician, artist, coach, or executive operating in their zone of genius.

At OutGrowth, we believe in preparing the next generation of leaders. What is one resource you'd recommend to those looking to carve out the time for growth in the next year?

I would say Find Your Why, by Simon Sinek. Every leader should figure out their personal mission and how they want to show up in life.

What's next? What are you excited about in the coming year?

I'm excited about publishing the next book of Imani's Adventures. It's been great to create the book with my daughter. I'm also excited about finding ways to be a sponsor for others and helping them make connections to reach their goals.


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