Over the last 35 years, my career has taken me from the classroom where I taught high school math to the university where I earned an advanced degree in industrial engineering to the utility industry where I direct and provide real estate services for the third largest public utility in the country.
I had always wanted to be a teacher, but discovered that my real passion was helping others. After 27 years and a variety of roles at SRP, I think my success has come from pursuing that passion through servant leadership, which is achieving results for my company by attending to the needs of my colleagues, employees and those we serve.
Through servant leadership I saw the value of mentoring. Not only did I benefit from those who took the time to recognize my strengths and nurture them, I also learned from others by sharing experiences, conveying knowledge, and opening doors.
Mentoring was so important to me that I helped develop and implement a formal mentoring program at SRP. After working with management, peers and the human resources department, we unveiled the SRP Mentoring Program in 2002. The growth of the program is a testament to its success, and both mentees and mentors have shared how much they have learned from one another.
As the program has evolved, we try to provide the right amount of structure and guidance to support mentoring relationships and develop employees to assume roles with greater leadership responsibilities.
As I work with others, I share what I’ve learned through the years:
- Be genuine and kind to yourself and others.
- Always act with integrity and honesty.
- Be a good communicator.
- Be willing to ask for help and accept the advice of others.
- Never be afraid to ask for someone’s time, although be aware of their time constraints and deadlines.
- Prepare for any opportunity.
- Get out of your comfort zone – help others and show what you know. Lead by example.
- Don’t wait for a tap on the shoulder to take a risk and seek feedback; then really listen and involve others in the process.
Finally, remember: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”