The importance of having a mentor

I’ve been lucky.  In my career, I’ve met numerous successful managers who taught me many important lessons in life and business.  One of them was my former boss.  The other was my co-worker while I was working for that same boss.  Both of these men taught me invaluable skills,without these technical skills, I would not have been where I am today.  The thing was, they never accepted to be my mentors.  I asked relentless questions to learn from them because they were good.  And, they shared without reservations and hesitations.  When I left that company, my boss told me, “The student has outmastered the teacher”.  It was a joke; but it made me so grateful for such a boss – understanding and encouraging.

Even when I was in college, I learned from one of the most astute managers.  He was aggressive in pursuing his passions and never shied from sharing his truest thoughts.  I credited him for my choosing Accounting and Finance as majors in college.  When I told him this years later, he laughed and laughed and called me naive.  Like me, we both understood business majors help get good jobs that help pay the bills.

And today, at where I work, I have many great mentors who would rather be called friends.  Some of these great friends go out of their ways to help me when I did not even know I needed their help. 

I am constantly telling my young brothers and cousins that they need to surround themselves with mentors because good mentors improve their skill base and expand their horizon.  And, I also tell them, it works both ways.  I guess this is why I want to teach computer classes at work.  I want to share what these great mentors and friends have taught me.

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