Do you have a fear of public speaking?  How about that gut wrenching fear of leading a training session or workshop because your nerves are getting the best of you?  Actually, you are not alone. Research shows that the fear of public speaking outranks the fear of death.  If you are like me when I first started my career in the corporate world, I loathed the idea of having to give a presentation let alone lead a 4-hour workshop.  Fast forward 20+ years and I am no longer the person hiding behind the desk afraid to give a presentation or speak publicly.  I’m actually a full-time leadership development coach, speaker and trainer, and I LOVE it!

So, What Changed?

What transformed in me from being the ever so shy employee to an outgoing and passionate coach, speaker and trainer?  First, being good was not good enough. I wanted to be great and didn’t want to settle for average.  I started paying attention to speakers all over the world and taking note of what I felt made them great.  I forced myself out of my comfort zone knowing that it would challenge me and I would grow because of it.  As John Maxwell states, “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” I set out on a path of personal growth and joined The John Maxwell Team in 2012 and became certified in 2013.

My Accelerated Journey

This started my accelerated journey of personal and professional growth.  I was amazed at not only the content that was available, but also the access to world class mentors and John Maxwell himself pouring into me to help reach my full potential.  I can honestly say that The John Maxwell Team was influential in helping me become the speaker and trainer that I am today.  I strive to connect with my audiences by sharing personal stories related to my content.  I lead my sessions knowing it’s not about me, but about them.  So, what did I learn about myself during this process?

I learned four things:

  • I have a passion to help others and I thrive on it.
  • I have a passion to help leaders develop to their full potential.
  • I learned it is not about me, it’s about my audience, team, etc. “How can I add value to them?”
  • I learned as my elementary school teacher Mrs. Marzlak once told me, “The sky is the limit as to what you can achieve.” Then again, maybe I’ll reach for the galaxy!

Joining The John Maxwell Team has been transformational for me in my professional and personal growth.  I only wished I had done it sooner!



Virginia Gronley is a certified speaker, trainer and coach with the John Maxwell team. She is an avid photographer. She also loves boating and spending time with her family.  She offers workshops, training, keynote speaking and coaching to in aid in your personal and professional growth. She holds a BA in Human Resource Management and has over 20 years’ experience in HR, Lean Six Sigma and various leadership roles in the corporate world. She is currently based in Southeast Michigan.