When I think of mentoring and what it has meant to me, I feel that it is my personal obligation to offer counsel and guidance to help others achieve their goals.
When I look back over my life, I am proud to say that so many provided me with insights, words of wisdom and a tug on the suit coat when I needed it—even when I didn’t think I did. My mother and father continue to be my role models. They instilled in me my life’s philosophy of giving of yourself so others can succeed. I call it servant leadership, leading to serve. In doing so, I realize that I grow exponentially!
It’s interesting, too, in terms of what I learn from my children. They have taught me patience, they remind me to appreciate the little things in life and they challenge me to keep it real. They mentor me in ways I could never imagine.
I have had many mentors who guided me through tough waters, helped me make career decisions, advocated for me, told me when I was right and when I was wrong, and helped me find solutions to overcome obstacles along the way.
I have learned that you don’t have to be an executive or the CEO to mentor others. From recent college graduates who are entering the workforce to executives in the C-suite, everyone has something to offer. It is a great journey.
So whether it’s supporting family, friends or work colleagues, mentoring is about helping others reach specific goals, and it’s a two-way experience. The mentoring does not have to be formal; it can be for a moment in time or for a lifetime. It’s about providing feedback and doing so in a way for the greater good of people. It’s about personal development for others and self.
I encourage us all to make mentoring part of our DNA. Advocate for others as you help them along the way. When we help others, we all succeed, and that’s being a leader is all about.