|Posted by Stephen Lemire on January 26, 2012 at 10:30 AM|
Many organizations such as professional associations have
formalized mentoring programs which have great value. My focus and particular
appreciation on this day is for those mentors who are not in an organized
program but, instead, on the individuals who are willing to give of themselves
to invest in someone junior to them in responsibility, authority, and maturity.
These mentors are confident professionals willing to selflessly offer knowledge,
skills, and experiences.
Mentors are vital in so many careers to perpetuate the
profession and the importance of internships cannot be stressed enough. In
addition, the part the mentee plays in this partnership is critical as they
must seek out opportunities, find an appropriate mentor, ask questions, be open
to suggestions and criticism, and absorb as much professional exposure as
What are some key traits of mentors?
1) They evolve from a position of authority to a role of friendship.
2) The lessons they share are not forced on you.
3) The skills they teach you are timeless and you can pass them on to others.
4) They are open to your ideas and opinions.
5) They remain available to you over time and after your formal relationship has ended.
I’m grateful and fortunate to have had more than one mentor. The “Mentor Olympics” has had an international flavor for me. I’m proud to present my medal winners:
Gold - (USA)
Frank T. Gallo, PhD, Chief Leadership Consultant for Aon Hewitt, Greater China;
President, Calypso Consulting. There are so many skills that I employ which I
learned from Frank that it is difficult to carve them out and list them. So much of Frank’s leadership and management
style was absorbed and incorporated by me during my formative professional
years. From leading an organization, to facilitating meetings, to day-to-day
management, there are Gallo-esque influences. Thank you, Frank.
(ROM) Bogdan M. Vernescu, PhD, Professor and Head, Mathematical Sciences
Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Board President, National
Professional Science Masters Association. Bogdan demonstrates how his brilliance
and leadership bring respect and direction because they are accompanied by
humility, professionalism, and a tireless commitment to the mission. Our
respective personalities may have made us seem like The Theatre Masks, but our teamwork, during my most significant
association tenure, was complementary, effective, and successful. Multumesc,
(USA) the late Col. Richard P. Taffe, U.S. Army (ret.); Former editor, The Lowell Sun. Dick taught me the
importance of volunteerism and community service. He stressed that it is not who you are, but,
rather, what you do is what matters. These lessons learned while still in
college steered me into a fulfilling lifelong career working in the nonprofit
sector. Thanks, Dick.
I salute these medal winners and so many others who have taken the time to share important lessons and experiences that I continue to carry with me to this day. If you’ve been as fortunate as I have been, I encourage you to pick up the phone or send a message of thanks to your mentor today.