Last week marked the end of our summer interns’ time with us and I spent a while with a couple of them answering their questions about our business and, actually, about life in general. Spending time doing this—mentoring—is something I really enjoy and even learn from.
When I think of the subject of mentoring I realize I come by it honestly. My father was my biggest mentor. He did this all of his life and though I wasn’t always open to his advice, I have never forgotten it. Several of my bosses as I was moving forward in my career also advised and mentored me in ways that proved invaluable. As I think about this I can remember their advice and how I have implemented it over the years.
I began to mentor with my children—first with my daughter who is now a successful financial reporter for Reuters and of whom I am very proud—and then for my son who, having just graduated college, is just starting out on his career. Watching them grow gives me enormous pleasure.
The same is true for the people with whom I work. I try to mentor each and every one of them, although it seems at times there are too few hours in the day. Still I find this one of the most satisfying parts of my job—sharing the wisdom I have been given is enormously gratifying.
Then there are my clients. Much of what I do as I help them develop their ideas and sell their books is a kind of mentoring. That, of course, often results in a financial as well as an emotional payoff.
Ultimately though, for me, advising young people about our business is what I like to do best—even when I am not aware that I am “mentoring.” Their success reflects back on our efforts.
I’d love to hear about your mentoring experiences—both the giving and the receiving. Please share them with me.