Manolo Guajardo at LACCC's L.E.A.Ding U.P. program

Why Professional Development is Key in Growth

The growth and success at AC&M Group is a direct result of the talent within and the desire to continue to learn. A prime example for this is Manolo Guajardo, who is currently the creative director with over 14 years of experience in the advertising field. Manolo recently graduated from Charlotte’s Latin American Chamber of Commerce’s L.E.A.Ding – U.P. (Leadership, Education, Alignment, Development, – Upward Potential) program. I sat down with him to learn more about the program.

The L.E.A.Ding U.P. program is sponsored by Wingate University and is part of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce’s effort to increase the number of influential Latino leaders throughout the Charlotte area. This program is conducted over an eight-week period meeting once a week and covered a variety of leadership development topics.

The topics covered included:

  1. Leading Self: Intrapersonal skills and understanding oneself in order to effectively lead others.
  2. Leading Ideas: Innovation and developing solutions to solve problems and create better outcomes.
  3. Leading Others: Expanding the ability to help others make decisions and take action while also inspiring and encouraging them.
  4. Leading Results: Developing the ability to break problems down to create better solutions that impact outcomes.

While participating in the program, Manolo and the other participants were split into groups and were assigned a non-profit organization to help. Manolo’s group was assigned Hope Haven, a non-profit dedicated to helping chemically dependent adults by providing them with life skills in a residential environment to achieve healthy recovery and economic independence.

Through working with the non-profit organization, Manolo was able to put into practice the skills he was expanding on in the program, as well as network with many other influential folks from diverse industry backgrounds in the city. According to Manolo, “this was a great experience in which I learned a lot about myself and my leadership style. Throughout the program, I was able to sharpen valuable skills that will help me throughout my professional career. I learned that to become a true leader, it is important not only to make an impact in your family or workplace, but also in your community.”

We couldn’t agree more with Manolo. As a company, we share this goal and are committed to making an impact — not only on behalf of our clients but also in our community. For us, its crucial to have leaders such as Manolo that strive to continue learning and sharing his knowledge with the team and our clients.

“In this world, you’re either growing or you’re dying so get in motion and grow.”– Lou Holtz

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Pablo Arellano