Regardless of your industry or title, having a passion for developing people is a key to success. Throughout my 28-year career, my focus on cultivating people by leading, mentoring and team building has been a major factor in the success and development of my career.
What drives people depends on their collection of experiences, their generational background and their view of the world. As a leader, I view it as my responsibility to find out what motivates my staff. I learned long ago that trying to fit a round peg in a square hole just doesn’t work. Working successfully with people requires understanding what makes them tick and then meeting them where they are—instead of asking that they meet me where I am.
I am a strong believer in mentoring at all levels of an organization. Mentoring relationships allow employees to benefit from the wisdom of more seasoned staff and to discuss personal concerns or issues without negative consequences to their careers. At the same time, for mentors, these relationships bring a fresh perspective and help keep them in touch with different viewpoints. We have a strong mentoring culture at KPMG, and I have found that being a mentor is a learning experience at both ends of the relationship.
We all know that two heads are better than one. However, building a team and creating a collaborative environment can be easier said than done. While you work to foster a spirit of teamwork and bring about a better end result for your organization, your ability to bring people together will help you stand out and be noticed for your collaborative skills.
You can be a leader, a mentor and a team builder no matter where you work or what your experience level is. When you motivate people and help them to achieve their career goals, you earn the respect of others. The people you have helped don’t forget you. In fact, they often can provide you with new opportunities and open new doors for you.
Developing other people has been my proudest professional achievement, and, while I know that I have helped to cultivate a new generation of leaders, I also know that these experiences have enriched my own career and contributed to my success.