Welcome to the EDGE

10 years ago I set out on a journey to help leaders grow their presence and stories with passion. My work has taken me all over the world working with leaders of all ages and stages, professions and missions. I’ve had the opportunity to meet thousands of leaders through keynotes; deep-dive programs; and small group retreats. My work for those who know me focuses on learning through the ShermanEDGE principles; the ability to Explore, Dream, Grow & Excite.

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Four simple words, I know.  But they came to me because my husband, from Geneva, New York, not Switzerland (bummer) kept telling me I was “edgey.” Like it was a bad thing.  Probably because I’m from Staten Island, New York (which is definitely not Switzerland) and those of us from the “city” (New York City) get the “edgey” rap all the time.

I argued with him that being “edgey” is a good thing. You know I’m going to give you an authentic, transparent point of view. And most important, I’m going to make sure there is energy and humor in the telling. Oh, and I can always find a parking spot.

I took that edginess and brought it to my work with leaders helping them to grow their authentic voices and presence in order to have a greater impact on their audiences.

How do you start to grow your presence with an edge? You have to know who you are at the core.

I always start my coaching engagements and programs with a simple question: if you could use only one word to define yourself at the core, what would it be? The test of reasonableness is would your friends and family agree with your choice of word.  There’s always the guy who says, “I’m inspirational” and everyone around him is shaking their heads indicating that is not the word they would use.

There are few limitations on the word.  It could be any kind of word:  noun, adjective, verb. The only caveat is it not be situational (hungry, late, tired) – because situations change, but your core defining word does not. This simple exercise is the starting point for leaders to define their own voice, presence and impact on the world.

Surprisingly my word isn’t edge. It’s energy.

What’s yours?