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A-Ha Moments

Be a Catalyst: The Power of Mentoring

Written by: Bill Sherman on Tuesday, 1 August 2006, 12:07 AM

I’m at a place in life where I get to help people and companies grow to reach their potential. That’s my passion and my joy.

This year, I’ve taken a new step. I’m now serving as a mentor for five people. A couple of these people live here in St. Louis, but the rest live around the country.

I’m learning how to balance my commitments as a mentor everything else I do, but I’m really enjoying these relationships. I’ve made clear commitments to their success and their joy. I’ve discovered that there’s a joy, as a mentor, that’s really deep and fulfiling. It’s helped me answer the question of my legacy. I’m not arrogant. Their success is the results of their work and effort.

However, if I’m an effective mentor, I can help catalyze people to reach their goals sooner or even reach higher than they might have on their own. I guess that’s part of my connection with teaching and professional development. I love to see people reach “aha-moments” where their perception of the world changes and they reshape their behaviors.

In some ways, I wish that I’d started mentoring sooner, but I felt self-conscious. I wanted to wait until I felt that I had value to give. Yet, there’s always someone who’s hungry to learn from your insights and experience. While you can never truly pay-back what you’ve received from mentors, you can commit to pay-it-forward.

  • If you’re hungry to learn, then find a mentor. I’ve been blessed by several (past and present).
  • If you’re ready to share your experiences with others, then look for someone who’s willing to accept the responsibilities of being a mentee.

Both the mentor and the mentee have responsibilities, and the mentee should never be just a passive sponge.

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