I have always viewed mentoring as a two-way opportunity. It’s a chance for you to gain the knowledge you need to meet your objectives, and it’s a way for you to help others.
The value of a mentoring relationship is understanding where you want to go and what you want to gain from the experience. One of my first mentors inspired me to do well by helping me understand that we all have the ability to be successful if you can define what success means and then execute on the job.
More recently, a mentor helped me appreciate the value of adaptability, one of the most important attributes to help you succeed in a large, complex organization. Being adaptable means having the ability to engage with people, and being authentic and ethical in the way you deal with them to achieve company goals.
I had three criteria that brought me to Grainger three years ago from CVS Caremark: I wanted to work for a global firm, I sought an opportunity to lead a functional area, and I was looking for a role as a launching pad for my career. I am delighted to report that Grainger is delivering on all three of those criteria. And I still see so many opportunities to continue to grow on the job and add value to the organization.
I was delighted to find that Grainger values diversity and have been fortunate to lead teams that are not only diverse, in terms of culture and gender, but also generational and experiential. This gives us the ability to meet the company’s objectives while understanding the differences within our customer base and various geographies that we serve. Everyone has a role to play, and the more diversity we enjoy, the more successful we are.
While we have made progress over the years in creating more diverse workplaces, I believe we have many more opportunities to do better in recognizing the leadership potential of women and minorities in the future – in our companies, in other organizations, and in society as a whole.
In my experience, meeting obstacles and overcoming challenges on the job is a matter of maintaining a laser-like focus on the objectives you are responsible for achieving. When you show up every day, have a passion for what you do, and add value to the organization, then you are enjoying the true measure of success. Everything else falls into place.