, I love the words you used about your mentor: "He saw something I never did...He took a chance on me, he mentored me to be a better me." I think that is the key to being a good mentor--seeing something in another person that, for whatever reason, they can't see in themselves. A mentor can help uncover the talent that has been there all along. A good mentor works to help their mentee find it for themselves, and become an even better version of themselves.
My boss in my first job after college saw something in me, even though I was a 22-year-old who knew nothing about maneuvering in Corporate America. She kept giving me projects and roles that would increase my skill set and visibility. There was one project in particular that I told her I didn't even want. It looked too important and I would have to learn all new software, and acquire a new way of thinking about the work I did. She looked me in the eye and said, "This is the future of the company, and the future of our industry. When you learn this new software and become an expert--because I know you will--you will be at the top of your field, and you can go anywhere from there."
I didn't initially have the vision she did. I was worried about the new team members I'd be working with, concerned about the hassle of learning a new piece of software, and was stuck in very short-sighted thinking. When she put it into perspective for me, it opened my mind to longer-term career goals, and I became excited and wanted to work on that project more than anything in the world!
She took a chance on me, by recommending me for a huge leap in responsibility. She saw something in me that I couldn't see yet, and gave me the opportunity to grow and become a better me.
Thanks for sparking this memory for me, @Stacy Graham
Sent: 06-16-2021 11:48
From: Stacy Graham
Subject: What's your "mentor moment?"
@Quinn Drew, love this and thank you for sharing!!
When I started at the current company I now own, I was given a great mentor that believed in me, even when I didn't believe in myself. He allowed me to grow with encouragement and knowledge. You see in 1996 there weren't a lot of women in the automotive world and I didn't even have automotive repair on my career radar. I started as an office admin. and within 3 months my mentor was teaching me how to work on vehicles and understand them. He saw something I never did and I am forever thankful for that. He took a chance on me, he mentored me to be a better me. So in 2017 I purchased his business from him and he retired. Because of him and all the support he gave to me, I will pay it forward and hopefully some day someone will be writing about how I mentored them.
Sent: 06-14-2021 10:31
From: Quinn Drew
Subject: What's your "mentor moment?"
A friend shared this post with me today, Pursuing Our Mentor Moments, and I was instantly transported back to a time I was sitting in my boss' office, trying to figure out how I was going to tell him I'd messed up a project. At this point, I don't remember what the project was, or what I'd messed up, only the terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach as I admitted the mistake. My boss listened intently, and then said, "I'm going to have to make a note of this." He pulled out a pad of post-its, grabbed a pen, and... drew a music note. He smiled, we both laughed, and then talked through how to move forward.
In this quick moment I learned that not every mistake was going to be the end of the world, even if it felt huge at the time. And that using humor to defuse some tension can be really effective, though I understand it won't always be.
What I like about the post I mentioned above is the reminder that mentoring doesn't always have to be a long process. We can learn from each other in small ways and teach a larger lesson instead of the immediate answer. Some of these moments may turn into something bigger, and some may not. But it's a rad goal to find and embrace these moments when we can, I think.
What about y'all? Any stories you'd like to share?