A former sales manager once told me that I should always surround myself with positive people — people who motivate, teach, listen and offer constructive criticism. These people don’t necessarily need to be co-workers; they can be colleagues in the industry, people you meet through volunteer work or organizations you support, former teachers and even those outside your industry who can offer a different perspective. Throughout my career, this nugget of advice has stuck with me. This is my foundation for being a mentor — or, as I like to call it, being a rock star!
The key to being a mentor is being a great role model. I have been very fortunate to have many different role models in my life. The variety of people has helped shape who I am and who I can be, and it has given me the opportunity to see how others take on the day-to-day challenges of their careers. The beauty of having more than one mentor is that you can take in all their different styles and customize them to fit and enhance your own path. Even those who are not active mentors can be useful resources. Learn from them from afar.
As a mentor, I have had the pleasure of guiding an equally diverse group of people — from interns and co-workers to rookie sales executives to industry outsiders. My most recent experience has been with WISE Within. I was paired with someone outside of my industry. During our six-month journey, my mentee experienced enough ups and downs to discourage anybody. While considering a new career path, she received a promotion, only to discover a few months later that her company was closing her division. Additionally, she was facing changes in her personal life. She did not let any of this get her down. She held her head high, lined up interviews and found a new job within a couple of weeks. Even though I was the mentor, my mentee inspired me. She let her guard down with me and, in doing so, helped this talker become a better listener. She is truly a rock star!
WISE and WISE Within offer an extensive and diverse community of positive people with which to surround ourselves. We all have a bad day once in a while, a day in which something — or someone — gets the best of us. Hold your head high, stay strong, and be positive. Pick up the phone today and call someone who would least expect to hear from you and be the positive person in his or her life. Rock that person’s world.