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Mentoring – An obligation

“You don’t build a business – You Build People – and then people build the business.”
Zig Ziglar

“Take care of those who work for you and you’ll float to greatness on their achievements.”
H. S. M. Burns, President, Shell Oil Co.

Seasoned executives are entrusted by their firms to ensure organizational health and longevity through profitable results and the recruitment, retainment and development of aspiring talent. To ensure organizational continuance a leader must find, nurture and develop young talent to adequately inherit the reins at a future date. Therefore, we help accomplish the legacy we seek as leaders through the thoughtful execution of succession planning and portfolio inheritance strategies.

Some of life’s most profound lessons happen in the work place. Lessons in the workplace provide young adults with some of life’s deepest and most meaningful skills. Part of this developmental process involves understanding the purpose of office politics, how to work with difficult people and to how to deal with pernicious superiors and coworkers. Unfortunately, for many professionals lessons pertaining to coping with office politics and villains are taught through trial and error. From my experiences over the last 5 years, feedback obtained through mentoring and teaching new hires, many endure painful experiences resulting from wicked scenarios carried out by sinister means alone with minimal support, guidance or mentoring. These aspiring young adults could very well be your children.

We were all fortunate to receive some form of assistance at one point in our careers. Many of us have been blessed with working for natural leaders – abundance minded good people with an altruistic intent to help the organization, develop staff to facilitate future growth and who focused on facts not personal agendas. Leaders should subscribe to a series of pedagogical ethics where an obligation to “pay it forward” is accepted and efforts to tutor becomes a common element within our task portfolio. To do so we must embrace the moral duty to show those aspiring to be like us the path we took and the lessons we learned along the way. Not having the time or outsourcing this responsibility to the Human Resources Department just won’t cut it in 2013 and beyond.

Instead of waiting for the newly minted and recruited to ask you for help – reach out to them. Offer your experiences and advice. Specifically elaborate on your tenure walking through the shadows of office politics, greed, insecurity, personal agendas and “evil”.

To the incoming leaders I offer my advice below and an open door available any time assistance is needed.

Top 3 qualities that have helped me in life are: 

  1. Work hard
  2. Be Honest
  3. Be kind

Exhibit these 3 qualities and great things will happen.

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