Who Needs a Mentor?


Another question might be, “What makes a good mentor?”  Or how about, “What is the mark of a good mentee?”

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, written by Wendy Lea the CEO of Get Satisfaction a technology platform, titled “Behind Every Successful Person, There’s a Mentor”, connected with me.  I started to make a list of the mentors that I trusted, listened to, admired, shadowed, debated, and valued who have infinitely shaped my life and career  – both those known personally and the many whose careers I have followed at a distance – and the list was long!  So I started another one.  The second one narrowed the number to just a handful of mentors whose honest, direct, sincere, and encouraging one-on-one moments and messages have forever influenced my personal and professional style and attitude.

But wait, there’s more!

Revolutionary Thought + Diverse Talent = Innovation

So, you want to be a CEO of the brightest and most respected company?  You may have an awesome concept or a one-of-a-kind product that everyone needs and wants, but do you have the team with you to really make an impact in the marketplace?  Are you capable of revolutionary leadership?

One of my favorite moments as a corporate executive was when I had the great opportunity to challenge the thought coming from within the organization – or better yet, toss a completely new out-of-the-box concept into the middle of my spirited group when they were least expecting it and let them challenge and contest the very core of it.  If my team wasn’t prepared for debate how could we know that the idea was going to hold up when we rolled it out publicly?  How can you know that the idea, product or service is the best it could possibly be if you didn’t have diversity of thought and deliberation and open review by those that should be your most passionate fans…and ultimately your sale force?

But wait, there’s more!

Define Purpose For Successful “Strategic Leadership” – Form Follows Function

“Form Follows Function” is a term coined in the worlds of art and architecture however it provides a great route for leaders to direct necessary, positive and continual successful change in organizations.  The phrase essentially suggests that your primary function – your purpose, ideals, strategic goals, systems – defines your organization.  Your form is what your clients see or perceive such as customer experience, client compassion, a vibrant business culture for your employees, the product your produce or even your building.  Your ability and success in adjusting and adapting to the ever-changing marketplace has to be rooted in your purpose.

But wait, there’s more!

Do Great Leaders Need The Applause?

Well, the answer is yes…and no.  Who doesn’t need to know that they are appreciated on occasion?  However, when it comes to leadership, there is a clear difference in styles – and success – between those that need to “hear” the applause and those that “feel” the sense of accomplishment in order to be fulfilled.  That’s not to say that an “atta girl” every now and then doesn’t help, just that leading by way of waiting for recognition at every turn is doing you, your co-workers and employees, and company a terrible disservice.

But wait, there’s more!