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National and Global, United States

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

From "Mentee" to Mentor...


During most of my career, I have attempted to reach out in a professional manner to people I considered 'mentors'. They were the people that, when I was young, just stood out. You probably know them too, from your experience. They had grace and humor. Oh, and they were smart. Not 'in your face' smart, but intelligent, pro-active, sensitive to their environment. A sense of humility without being a 'saint'.

They simply looked good, had presence, and seemed to know what they knew in an extraordinary fashion. They looked you 'in the eye'. They took only personal credit when it was appropriately due, and most often gave credit where it was not. They wore ties and drank beer (the local stuff). They spent time with you, even if you were not on their radar screen. And when they helped you get that first job, that promotion, that recognition, you responded with a 'thanks'. And you kept it up over the years.

Then, all of a sudden, you became the 'mentor'. People asking you for that same assistance, that contact, that introduction, that morning coffee.
And you accomodated them. You 'reached out' and attempted to help just like your mentors had done with you. Most times successfully. And they rose in the 'ranks'. They became VPs and CEOs and Partners. And then, you never heard from them again.

1 comment:

  1. Blame it on the sense of entitlement bred into the "younger" generation. Now, the mentees believe they have a right to education, the right to a good-paying job, the right to health care, the right to have a mentor open doors.....etc etc. The generations to come will surely suffer a self-correcting moment brought on by this entitlement period, but eventually, the mentors will hear their thanks once again (probably not in your lifetime...or mine).

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