Leading Edge: 2019 – It’s Not Too Late!

Leading Edge: 2019 – It’s Not Too Late!

I can’t wait for all 2019 has to bring me!

Joining The John Maxwell Team

I joined the John Maxwell team almost three years ago. Before that, I spent my time as a classroom teacher and school administrator. These roles provided lots of opportunity for growth and learning, personally and professionally. However, I found myself in need of a new challenge. As John Maxwell always says, “When you find yourself at the head of the class, it’s time to find a different class!” I didn’t know what to do and then along came a radio ad for the John Maxwell Team. After doing some research, I jumped in and began learning about how to be a better communicator and how to build a business as a speaker, trainer, and coach. I replaced my full time teaching salary while enjoying work I love, with people I want to work with, and every day is different.

At First…

It was slow going at first. I didn’t know HOW to do it! Until I jumped on every call I could with the faculty and mentors and reached out to people within the Facebook community. I talked to people on the team that walked similar paths and they shared their stories with me. I started asking questions and putting a plan together based on the action steps I heard from others who were already successful. Before I knew it, I was building a thriving business and making huge impact in the education world in my local community, then in my state, and now in the national arena.

I don’t say these things to impress you but to impress upon you the need to be connected to other people who know more, and do more, in your own area of skill, strength, or need. The decision to join the John Maxwell Team directly influenced new thinking patterns and continues to influence the results I see in all areas of my life. However, that’s not enough! I can’t stop here. Every day I ask myself the question, how far can I go? I see the people around me, including the world-class faculty on this team and I see what big shoes I can choose to fill. The possibilities are endless with their support and encouragement.

2019 is MY YEAR

Someone asked me the other day what my goals are for the New Year. Well, I have three main goals for 2019. The first goal is to speak at 3 national conferences. Last year, I was invited to speak at my first national education conference and I had a blast!  This year, I am scheduled to speak at three educational leadership conferences all over the US. JMT, and specifically the teachings and coaching by Roddy Galbraith, fostered the confidence and skills to become a world class speaker, so that I might add value to others and change the face of education.

The second goal of 2019 is to finalize a series of trainings and coaching curriculum to support educational coaches, in and out of the classroom. This is a dream of mine related to my own experience and education. My PhD research centers on how to use coaching practices to encourage maximum impact through our education institutions. The learning I’ve experienced through the teaching calls with the mentors and faculty directly influenced my decision to jump out in this direction. Typically, in the education world, you get a PhD and then teach at a higher degree institution. Mentors, like Paul Martinelli, helped me see that my impact can go so much farther than one college campus. I can’t wait to see what happens with this project!

And my third goal for 2019, which may be the most important, most fun, and most sought after goal, is to have my husband join me in this business. You see, when I joined the team three years ago, he was not that supportive! He didn’t understand what I was doing, and why, and who are all these energetic, crazy people that only want to talk about growth and potential and changing the world all the time!?!? After talking to several faculty members, I made the decision to put into practice as many of John’s principles as possible and just keep plugging away, whether he supported me or not. Much to my surprise, after talking to a colleague on the phone about joining the team, he announced that he wanted to join as well! I am excited to see where he will add the most value to OUR team and can’t wait for him to meet my mentors and for them to become HIS mentors!

The sky is the limit and nothing is impossible in 2019! With mentors and faculty to guide me, who knows what the world will look like this time next year!


Michelle Burkhard is an Executive Director with the John Maxwell Team and the Owner of Grow By 1; an organization of multiple businesses built to serve and increase clients’ ability to lead themselves and others well.  

She received a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Central Michigan University. She is a PhD candidate at Walden University.  Her specialty is Assessment, Evaluation, & Accountability.

Her experience includes extensive work in the education and business fields for over 20 years, and she is a highly requested speaker and trainer around the United States.  Her coaching clients span several fields of study around the US and the international arena.

Her passion for seeing others reach their own personal and professional goals fuels her work as a coach.  When not studying or serving others, she enjoys actively engaging at home with her husband Josh of 16 years, and her three children, Josiah, Hannah, and Eliana.