IWD 2023: Anjell Bryan Edwards ‘levitates’ while remaining grounded

ANJELL Bryan Edwards, Guardian Life’s assistant vice-president responsible for business development – organisational transformation, is laser-focused on maximising productivity and profitability by empowering people, re-engineering processes (enabled by cutting edge technology), and designing products to forge new markets.

From the base of a BSc (Economics), Edwards now holds an MBA (Human Resource Management) along with a suite of professional certifications in areas including leadership coaching, training and speaking from the internationally respected guru John Maxwell.

Outside of the corporate world, she impacts her community by helping individuals and organisations develop leadership capacity through one-to-one coaching, workshops and masterminds. Her areas of specialty are career coaching, goal-setting, leadership, self-management and productivity.

A former Miss Jamaica Festival Queen, Edwards also trains candidates for local and international pageants such as Miss Jamaica World, Miss Universe Jamaica, Miss Universe Cayman Islands, and Miss Jamaica Festival Queen, with a focus on walk, poise, and interview skills.

At ‘thirty-something’ she has already earned her stripes in multiple dimensions even while continually investing in herself and others to co-create more fulfilling realities.

She treasures quality time with loved ones, playing dominoes, or getting her investigative mind entangled in true crime documentaries on Netflix.

“Growing up primarily with my mother and extended family in Spanish Town, I was enveloped in love. Like all children, I had some disappointments but never a sense of lack. Needs assured, I later yearned for living examples of people doing great things that could transform a generation, or even just to propel aspirations,” she shared.

“A go-getter at the core, I rejected the notion that default settings should determine my future. While I have always treasured quality time with my loved ones, I was also consumed by self-determination. With my siblings and cousins following me, I assumed the mantle of making an indelible mark to inspire future generations to forge [the path] for their own dreams.

“I tested my own limits with a wide range of pursuits — drama, spelling bee, singing. I even modelled with Saint International just to experience more of life than I previously saw around me.

“As the 2014 Miss Jamaica Festival Queen (representing Kingston and St Andrew), through the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission I share my experience and provide guidance and mentoring to young ladies who are preparing for the annual Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition.”

As a transformation junkie she now draws upon all these experiences to guide others towards self-actualisation through personal growth.

“Now, when I look at what my sister and my cousins are doing, I am amazed by their sense of fearlessness. Their mindset is more like, ‘We will go out and try it.’ I see how my example has inspired them to live fully every day.”

She cautions: “It’s OK to live in the moment — you don’t have to ‘have it made’. Go out and face the world with God and embrace the many opportunities that can bring pleasure, joy (not without effort and hard work) but [ensure] they will direct and lead you to where you need to be. Take time to breathe. Per my recent social media post, ‘Stop and savour the things you’ve worked and wished for. Don’t let people ‘what’s next?’ you to death.’

“You have intrinsic value now. In my lifetime I will write a guidebook on using your gifts or superpower to ‘Thrive in your 9 to 5.’ There is a way you do something that makes it a superpower for you. If you could step into a room and do this one thing, you would stand out. I hope to design programmes of self-discovery to maximise impact in your workspace. Forget doing ‘just what di people dem tell you fi do’. Focus on co-creating more dynamic, meaningful, engaging, and satisfying job roles. Everybody cannot be an entrepreneur — who will work in the companies? Work on self-refinement and fully exploring your potential, wherever you’re planted.”

She added: “I have overcome ‘imposter syndrome’ through my faith. Now I can use my story, the mindsets and methods I have developed over time, to help other women and girls realise what’s possible. Even without current examples, you can be pacesetting pioneers!”

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