Clare Bocking DCS Women in Wholesale Chair

“Exist beautifully to your full potential” – Women in Wholesale’s Clare Bocking

Women in Wholesale Chair Clare Bocking explains why supporting each other and creating clear progression plans gives you the direction to Be the Best You, helping you make the most of every day and every opportunity

Since we started Women in Wholesale seven years ago, our mission has been to inspire, support and progress women working in our channel. This year, our theme Be the Best You underpins everything we stand for. However, there is an even better single word that encompasses our mission: arete.  

Arete is an ancient Greek word that means to exist to your full potential and is brilliantly brought to life in this description by Dave Radparvar from Holstee, who wrote: “It is about existing and existing beautifully, to your own definition of success, to your own potential.” 

I’ve been fascinated by the concept of purpose and potential for a long time. In 2015, I studied at The University of Warwick for a diploma in coaching, which gave me some fantastic insight and learnings that I continue to reflect, practice and develop. 

Helping others through listening, coaching and mentoring has never been more important as we re-establish connections and ambitions after two years of uncertainty and change. 

In our Women in Wholesale Speed Mentoring event on 28 April in London, I’ll be leading a session on personal development plans (PDP). A PDP can be the map that gives you direction to Be the Best You. Importantly, starting to write one forces you to consider your purpose – reflecting on what you want to be and why – which is often something we are much too busy to prioritise.  

The combination of reflective thinking and proactive planning can, however, be transformational. It can help you clarify goals and objectives, both in your day job and broader life, maximising your strengths and building on key development areas. This thinking and focus, combined with support and practical learning tools, can help you make the most of every day and every opportunity.  

In my speed mentoring session, we’ll discuss why a great PDP can make such a difference and then focus on some templates, tools and techniques to help with thinking and planning, such as these. 

  • I always recommend beginning with the end in mind, so trying to be clear on where you want to be in 12 or 24 months, being clear where you are now and then your PDP forms the bridge that helps you fill the gaps. 
  • Splitting your PDP into functional, team and personal helps you focus your priorities and opportunities, broadening and rounding your development.
  • Best practice suggests that we learn most through doing, so 70% of your learning in your PDP should be on the job, 20% with and through others and only 10% through more formal or academic means.  

We all need to own our PDPs. Expecting someone else to own writing it for us or seeing the annual review process as a tick-box exercise means we have missed the point and the opportunity.  

We have such amazing people and great talent in our industry – who wouldn’t want to help ourselves and others to exist beautifully to our full potential.

Register to join the Women in Wholesale Speed Mentoring event for free at

Be the Best You Clare Bocking DCS personal development progression plans Women in Wholesale