Summer is the time when people take vacations and bask in the glow of the sun, as well as the surf and sand if you live here in Los Angeles! It is also a time when professionals reflect on their careers and their lives while trying focus on achieving their future goals, whether they are long-term or simply for the rest of 2014. It can be humbling when you think about what you don’t yet know. This month, I am thinking a lot about mentorship because several colleagues who work for other organizations have recently confided in me that they never really had a great mentor. More relevantly, these professionals really wish they had one today.
Mentorship means different things to different people. For me, a mentor taught me just about everything I know about the executive search business. I got better at my craft by watching, listening, and, assuredly, by making mistakes. The best education came from that last category! Now I am in a position where I am able to offer my own expertise as a guide for others and help them as they seek to refine their skills and propel their journeys.
In addition, I have studied the concept of mentoring quite a bit as it comes up in conversations over and over again when entrepreneurs talk about growth (personal, professional, and everything in between). Richard Branson, the hugely successful CEO of Virgin, recently shared, “Whenever I am asked what is the missing link between a promising businessperson and a successful one, mentoring comes to mind. Giving people advice on how they can best achieve their goals is something that is often overlooked. If you are looking to make your way in business, try to find a mentor. If you are in a position to share the skills you have learned, give something back by becoming a mentor yourself.”
I could not have said it better myself. Here’s to either finding or being a great mentor!