the gift of mentors and sponsors

Mom  Rod   Karen  Cathy  Sandy  Greg  Steve(s)  Andrea  Judy(s)  Henry  Suzi Sharon  Denise  Layo  Marcy  Lulu     Ray  Kendra  Eric  Ron  Nancy(s)…

I have been incredibly blessed by mentors throughout my life. People who cared about me, invested their life into mine, challenged me and helped me grow. Some are family. Some are friends. Some were my boss. Some are authors I have never met. Some are co-workers. Some live nearby. Some I observed from a distance. Some are older, others younger. Some are like me. Some are practically my opposite in every way.

                                                                                                                                 

No one person was “everything” for me, but they have each played very important roles in my life:

  • taught me skills
  • introduced me to Jesus
  • challenged my selfishness
  • let me cry on their shoulder
  • encouraged me to speak and write
  • laughed with me
  • brought in fresh perspective
  • coached me through decisions
  • lived a godly example for me
  • offered grace
  • gave me feedback
  • shared from experience
  • corrected me
  • drank coffee with me
  • gave me hope
  • prayed for me

There have been many times in my life when I wasn’t sure what to do… when I wanted to give up… when I felt overwhelmed or beat up… when I wasn’t sure about a decision… when I needed help. These mentors spurred me on, built my confidence and strengthened my character. They helped me get through the hard times, and they encouraged me to take steps of faith and continue reaching for more.

I have also had opportunities to mentor others. One of my favorite things to do is to encourage and empower young leaders. Business gurus and discipleship experts say that we all need mentors. Sometimes mentoring and coaching is not a formal part of the organizational structure; then I need to take the initiative to make it happen.

When I want to advance and lead, I also need a sponsor – someone with positional power to make networking connections and advocacy recommendations for specific jobs and promotions. This is especially true for me as a women. Even though I often find mentors – formally or informally, I also need to have sponsors in advanced positions who can speak for me and give me opportunities. One aspect of my leadership positions that motivates me is that I can serve as a sponsor for others.

Thank you to each of you who believed in me. You are priceless treasures. You helped me believe in myself. I will be forever grateful.

Do you have a mentor and/or sponsor?  Are you mentoring someone?

7 thoughts on “the gift of mentors and sponsors

  1. Pingback: Men and Women are Different – Learning to Mentor across Genders | Dr. Ray Wheeler's Blog

  2. You are right! We have been blessed with so many mentors over the years in family, marriage, work, leadership. Apart from the grace of God to provide, I think your humility and teachability (hunger to learn) opens you up for mentoring. The sponsorship part is a fresh and necessary element also. Donny and Eric were kind of that for us also.

    • Thanks, Ray! I think in a few instances – usually bc of a leader position – someone took specific initiative with me… sometimes the mentoring took place more informally… and other times I asked for the feedback times. Same has happened when I am the mentor – I often take the initiative to spend time with someone I want to invest in – sometimes they ask me if I will meet with them. A lot of variety – just important that it happens!

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