Curriculum Coaches are the secret sauce that makes our business training successful.
A Curriculum Coach is a Partners Worldwide volunteer who leads our business training strategy in a particular country or region. There are 26 of these coaches in 16 countries, who amongst them speak close to 50 languages. These are wildly talented and experienced businesspeople, excellent trainers, and most importantly, they have a heart to serve and “coach” others.
Curriculum Coaches don’t simply teach our curriculum; they train others how to teach the curriculum, through our proven Train-the-Trainer approach.
Since these people are so extraordinary and vital to our success, we decided to highlight them and their stories. And so, we are happy to introduce a new Partners Worldwide blog series: Curriculum Coach Spotlights!
MEET CARMEN MORRIS
There’s no more appropriate place to begin a highlight of Curriculum Coaches than with Carmen Morris.
Carmen has led Train-the-Trainer events for Partners Worldwide on four continents. She has personally certified several of our Curriculum Coaches and has helped build up our team of Curriculum Coaches in the United States, Eastern Europe, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Carmen has also helped onboard many of our new partners.
In so many ways, Carmen has truly helped build our global training strategy into what it is today.
Carmen calls New Jersey home, but hails from the Dominican Republic. In addition to her work as a Curriculum Coach, Carmen has also served our partnerships in Ecuador since 2010 as a volunteer Business Affiliate (BA).
Perhaps the reason Carmen is such a talented business trainer and coach is because that’s what she does professionally. When she’s not volunteering with Partners Worldwide, she’s training many private and government organizations in the United States.
For example, Carmen is currently active with Princeton SCORE, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), where she served as Chair/President for the Princeton chapter from 2012-2015.
Carmen is also a Business Consultant for the State of New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) Rutgers-Newark Chapter, where she also worked facilitating their Disaster Preparedness and Business Continuity program following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Not only does Carmen talk the talk when it comes to business, she also walks the walk. She has been a business owner for 35 years—leading various companies—with business travels that often take her to Africa and Asia. She is a gifted speaker, a wise coach, and truly a blessing to the PW Curriculum Coach team!
A CONVERSATION WITH CARMEN
What do you enjoy most about being a PW Curriculum Coach?
The first thing is the opportunity it offers me to serve others, especially to serve underprivileged businesses. To be able to connect with people who I otherwise would never have had the chance to meet, and get to know their stories and their businesses. And two, the ability to minister to others while doing what I love most.
Tell us a bit about your work as a volunteer Business Affiliate with PW in Ecuador.
I’ve been a Business Affiliate (BA) with our Ecuador partnerships since 2010, and have traveled there … I can’t remember how many times!
We began in Quito, and are now working in Cuenca and El Oro as well. It’s been a great blessing to work with the businesses, and more recently in the capacity of training new trainers. We’ve helped establish a local mentoring program to give continuity to those businesses that have started after (receiving) training.
I’ve been able to replicate some of the successful models of business coaching that I use in the U.S. with the businesses in Ecuador. It’s been a great blessing for me.
How would you describe your approach when it comes to “training trainers?”
For me, the key is to begin with an approach of Biblical principles of business. The PW curriculum lays a solid foundation for this, and really sets the tone in the first few chapters.
Many times, entrepreneurs don’t know what the Word of God really tells us about how to do business, and conduct ourselves as business owners. Even very experienced Christian business leaders often don’t know what the Bible says about how to lead an organization God’s way. When we can teach that to new trainers, it gives them a sense that they can be successful in doing this, and doing it the right way. Everything grows from the foundation God has already set for us in His Word.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are just getting started?
Always begin with your vision. Sometimes we jump right into business doing analysis, but I ask people: what is the gift God has given you? What gift or ability or dream do you have? What is that something you do that no one else can do, and most importantly, how is the Lord leading you? Trying to clarify the vision at the very beginning is key.
The first thing I recommend is to start by making an assessment of your internal resources. Educate yourself and complete the 12 weeks of the PW training! Get an understanding right up-front of all the things you’ll need to get your business started. Be resourceful and always stick to the vision that God has given you.
Stay tuned! Next month, we’ll share an interview with Tendai Kashangura as part of our Curriculum Coach Spotlight blog series.