Go! Be A Mentor, Drive Results and Become A Leader

It’s February 13, the day before Valentine’s Day and each year, I celebrate this day with a heart-shaped cake and the singing of a traditional song.

Noooo….It’s not because I celebrate Valentine’s Day-Eve, its because I celebrate a birthday! My mother’s!! So, I thought it only appropriate that she be the inspiration for my post today.

So, how does this relate to digital marketing or business? Well, having a mother is one of the things that links all of humankind. Both literally and theoretically, we were all brought forth from someone else. To enter adulthood, we needed a helping hand, a guiding light and a nurturing source. I am amazingly blessed to have The Saint of all saints for a mother and consider it a true privilege to have had a powerful source of inspiration that taught me to go hungrily after my passions and never see the impossible. Furthermore, as a teacher by nature and trade, she always stressed the importance of sharing knowledge and joyfully helping others.

Authentic-Leadership

As I age, I notice, both personally and professionally, the disparity amongst younger folks these days, who, at alarming rates, tend to lack well-defined skill sets, social graces, interpersonal skills and the strong sense of integrity that I assumed came with the territory of adulthood. I fully embrace the diversity of our world and revel in the strength it brings us as a nation of people. But from a business perspective, it’s disconcerting that our churn is so significant that we would consider it a waste of time to simply interact. I find it appalling that we don’t reach out and build better relationships, but deliberately isolate these individuals, invisibly marking them as easy prey in our respective, competitive campaigns for personal success and glory.

One of the great travesties that I see in today’s workplace is the lack of a guiding figure that plays an integral role in one’s professional and personal development. A mentor.

Let me be clear- I’m describing a formal relationship that both parties enter with the shared goal of a long-term,close interaction. I’m not talking about just a boss, a trainer or a co-worker. While a mentor can certainly hold one of those titles and all of those roles carry great influence, I’m referring specifically to one who plays a sacred role in the life of a young{ish} professional.Mentor-Diagram

I heard once that we should always eagerly seek out a leader we admire with the intent of one day being able to take his/her place. I would like to add that maybe this should be viewed with a different lens.

Ambition is great and absolutely vital to survival in our dog-eat-dog world. But instead of planning a subtly, hostile takeover of our senior executives, should we not be focusing our attentions elsewhere? Who we will bring along with us? Who we will commit to truly nurture and guide this year? Who will we actively develop for success in life in general and not just to successfully maintain our legacy?

These are not popular ideas because they require an investment of Time and of Self. But, the ROI {return on investment} ! If we spent an hour developing an employee instead of cleaning up his mess, we would reap long term, sustainable results.

Nobody goes to work and says “I want to do a really awful job today”. But, it happens {too many times} when fresh talent bounds through the door, eager to absorb, digest and contribute, but then is left hanging out to dry; making their own way down a thorny path. I contend that this is a true waste of resources and senior level managers should proactively engage their teams to seek out a mentor, if no one is knocking on the door. Enable them to find a good fit! Facilitate a valuable introduction! 

A leader never has to tell others to follow…they just do. If we each focused on what positive change we can affect in our respective worlds by mentoring another, our workplaces would overflow with increased productivity, fresh ideas, increased value adds and eventually streams of revenue. And we would become leaders…by default.

I encourage you to be enriched by sharing experiences with another and to reach out to share your best practices with someone today. Don’t put this off. Even a small effort can have a ripple effect. Regardless of your industry, it can be a rewarding experience to impact the career of another. {Chances are that you will even be recognized by your seniors as the go-to guy for employee engagement and be promoted.}

With that, I have a heart-shaped cake to eat and a song to sing. Happy Birthday, Mama!

 Did a mentor play a role in your professional development. How do you engage with younger professionals to share your best practices? Leave a comment with your experiences as a mentor or mentee.

You are reading , Go! Be A Mentor, Drive Results and Become A Leader originally posted on PollySentrick. If you’ve enjoyed this post, join us and check out PollySentrick on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest.

Sources

Authentic-Leadership. Digital image. Http://smartwomensmoney.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.

Mentor-Diagram. Digital image. Http://happygolegal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Mentor-Diagram.jpg. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.

 

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8 Surefire Ways to Master Thoughtfulness on Valentine’s Day

There is a very good reason that this post is a week early! Listen up Procrastinators!

Using your brain is sexy!

Using your brain is sexy!

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE THOUGHT!

That’s right! Don’t roll your eyes at how simple this sounds. Here I’ve outlined eight steps to show your sweet lovey that you have mastered the art of thoughtfulness this Valentine’s Day. This isn’t just hot air.  Whether you are chained to a clanky, but oh-so-lovely ball or in the honeymoon stages of early fluttery love, these tips can help you inject some passion into your efforts at wooing this season.

Based on responses I gathered from several lovely ladies I know, what women want most is…YOU! (Men-you are a different breed, but we hope you will feel loved by these actions too.)

Hooray for big overtures and flashy red and pink paraphernalia, but if you aren’t including at least one of these items into your Valentine’s Day repertoire, chances are you won’t be scoring as many points as you could be. And in the end, it’s about scoring the points that make you both feel happy, healthy and loved. Go love!

  1. Plan something. Anything. “It’s the thought that counts.” But.. REAL thoughts. Do not make the tired excuse that you have no money or time. Make an effort to actually stop and think about what will make your partner feel most cared for. Chances are, you could be doing a better job at getting face time without the kids, Blackberry or television blaring. Anything that allows you significant time for eye contact, body warmth and pheromones is a plus. (See my post on impersonal Catfish dating)
  2. Make something. Remember in Kindergarten when your mom’s tears spilled over at the sight of your crayon drawings? Well, forget it. Crayons probably won’t work now. But make your partner a meal, a new shoe rack for her closet, coupons for massages. You get it. Be creative or ask your kids for help, they are sure to have all the materials that you need. No kids? Printing is super impersonal, unless you include some handwritten note. Try to stay away from electronics.
  3. Be someone. How about the “you” she always wanted you to be and you sold on your first date? Relax. Geesh. Its temporary. But think back to the words you’ve exchanged and promises that you have made. Have you kept them all? Don’t lie, you know you haven’t. If not, this is a great time to make good on something you let slip by that meant something to your partner.
  4. Comprise on something substantial. Write it down and give it as a gift. It’s not material, it’s so much more. Just don’t use it as a tally mark for a future skirmish. This has to be a genuine and real, well-thought compromise on something to which you can truly and happily commit out of love.
  5. Indulge her. Alright, let’s set the scene. You both had to work all day and the restaurant was packed, so you really are drained. You can still watch one night of old movies (or whatever she likes) without snoring through it. Make coffee if you have to. It’s a small sacrifice to show that you are in touch with what makes her tick. And this will pay off in the long run, even if you are both too drained tonight.
  6. Ask questions.  This could also be called- “Act like you actually give a crap.” Asking questions is the best way to get to know someone. You are changing every year and so is (s)he. Ask about new interests, dreams or favorite experiences. Keep it light and happy so it doesn’t feel like an interrogation. The best way to accomplish this is by asking “followup questions” to statements you hear your partner make in your conversations. In fact, put this one in your back pocket and use it often, because we could ALL do a better job of tuning in and not tuning out.
  7. Make a lunch date. Ask now so (s)he can plan the week. Make a reservation or make a picnic. Again, it’s the thought that counts. The day doesn’t start at 6pm. Take advantage of nontraditional romantic times of day and coupled with an unplanned gesture that evening from one of the other seven points in this article, you gain the element of sweet surprise!
  8. Write a love note. Try listing ten things you want your partner to know about you and invite him or her to do the same. Talk about it tonight, so that you can share your thoughts in a week on Valentine’s Day, when you have had a chance to really put some thought into it. This is a major winner if you can deliver not only the list, but a simple, from the heart love note attached. One of my personal favorites is also notes in unusual places like the cabinet, under a pillow, in a purse or on the dresser. Make little post-its and drop them everywhere. Sounds corny, but its uber-romantic.

If you try any of these thoughtful nuggets, let me know how they worked. Just remember, this is a commercial holiday, but its based in…

 L-O-V-E!little heart

Don’t get grumpy that Hallmark is scoring big, focus on the TRUE MEANING of love as you know it. This is a chance to make an emotional deposit into your love tank and strengthen the bonds you hold most dear. Godspeed! May Cupid be with you.

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You are reading , 8 Surefire Ways to Master Thoughtfulness on Valentine’s Day originally posted on PollySentrick. If you’ve enjoyed this post, please be sure to follow PollySentrick on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest.

They Fish on MTV now??

So, maybe I’m late, but I just found “Catfish” on MTV. Anyone who hasn’t been in the dating scene in the past 10 years could definitely benefit from the education that this documentary-esque show provides. The premise of this hour of quality programming lies on the synthesized meeting of two individuals who have only communicated thus far via Facebook, email, chat and…DUN DUN DUM!…the phone!!

Can you imagine getting soooo… personal that you know your crush’s voice?!?

Okay, so if you answered “Yes” then you are way too old to really understand any of this and you should just go back to “liking”  cool cat videos on Facebook because this is beyond your comprehension and might just blow your mind.

Adults, be warned! Dating these days is so unlike anything our grandparents, parents, older siblings or even married friends have experienced. Dating today most likely consists of months of electronic commmunication with a few, one, or even NO real, in-person meeting!

“How can this be?” you ask. Well, it’s pretty simple. The internet has allowed us all to stay in our safe cocoons,  creating whatever persona we feel like affecting and seeing where it gets us. And who can blame us?  In a world where a man is always one-upped by another smarter,  suaver and bigger hero and a woman is easily replaced by a more doting, yet sexier, iconic and stimulating female, why should we settle for reality, when fantasy is being spoon-fed to us around the clock?

Here’s why. Every fantasy has a “behind-the- scenes”, just like every balloon can be popped and what goes up must come down. (You like what I did there?)

So, if you are so lucky in this ridiculously hectic and impersonal world to connect with a real human being. ..LATCH ON! Make a real connection!  Share thoughts,  ideas and laughter!  For the love of God, embrace the humanity of eye contact, body warmth and pheromones!

In the meantime,  the rest of us will thankfully remain content in our media-defined boring, mediocre family-like existences while single peeps are comfy with intimate experiences on a box of plastic and metal. Thankfully, there is exceptional programming like “Catfish” to keep us old fogies in touch with what a “real” relationship looks like.