I once worked for a large firm that had a formal counseling program and an informal mentoring program. This often confused new employees. But once it was explained, it made sense.
Since the consulting firm was a matrixed organization, a counselor was someone at the next-higher level that gathered project reviews of the people he or she counseled. If you worked on four projects in a year, you may have had four different managers and reviews. Continue reading What is a Mentor?→
One day early in my career I remember having lunch with my boss. We were discussing the latest political sex scandal and how the politician was handling it. As was his nature, my boss turned it into a teachable moment. He commented on how sad it was. “A man spends his entire life building up his reputation. And in a moment of weakness, he destroys it.”
No longer a role model
We both knew that there were probably a multitude of weak moments, but his point was made. We both wondered why someone who spent so much time and energy developing a public reputation –a personal brand as we call it today – would ruin it with such self-destructive behavior. Continue reading The Responsibility of Being a Role Model→
Early in my consulting career, I connected with a manager in my firm that I considered a mentor. He had many years of consulting and business experience under his belt. I would go to him regularly for advice and he willingly shared his knowledge.
I didn’t report directly to him, but a friend of mine did. One day she told me how he had unfairly reprimand her in front of some peers. She was humiliated and I was surprised that he would be such a jerk. Continue reading Mentor, Hero or Bum? You Decide→
Although I’ve been out of high school for longer than I care to admit, there are still a few things that stick with me from those days as if it was yesterday.
I enjoy woodworking, and I rarely make anything in my workshop without thinking of my high school shop class. And nobody would have mistaken me for an athlete (I was a much better athletic supporter). But I did letter in track all four years, and today when I drive past a high school where a track meet is taking place, I’m tempted to stop and see if I can still do a couple of triple jumps. Continue reading A High School Inspiration That Lives On→
Andrew’s role as account manager for a consulting firm required him to sit in on most of the meetings held by Leah, his project manager at their firm’s most important client.
In Monday’s weekly status conference-call, although Leah ran the meeting, Andrew observed that she didn’t exactly ‘take charge’ of it. She was a little hesitant to start, wanting to wait a few minutes for everyone to report in. She proceeded through the agenda items, reciting issues and risks without offering detailed explanations or mitigation strategies.
When I started out in consulting, I decided early on that I would seek out a mentor. I must have been like the little bird in the children’s book “Are You My Mother?” that goes from animal to animal seeking out its mother. I had in my mind that there would be one person that would extol his or her wisdom to help me to launch my career. After a few years, here is what my mentors have taught me: Continue reading 5 Things My Mentors Have Taught Me→