I always hope that â€œReading for Leadingâ€ stimulates your thinking so that you bring a little different focus or quality to the tasks ahead in the week of leadership thatâ€™s dawning for you. This week I invite you to actually add a whole new task to your â€œto doâ€ list, and I promise youâ€™ll appreciate it. New Task: Thank your mentor!
Thursday the 25th is national â€œthank your mentor day.â€ The first task might be to identify a key mentor, a person who guided you in some special way to become the person and leader you are. It might be a teacher, coach, first boss, or just a wise and caring person who took you under their wing.
I think of my dad, Jack Mulhern. Dad respected everyone. His most frequently used word was â€œlove,â€ often accompanied by its antonym â€œselfish.â€ I remember the fondness he had when weâ€™d pull out his shoe box of army pictures, and he would point to and name poor and uneducated soldiers he served with in Korea, the farmersâ€™ sons, and the Korean boys he befriended. Every single one was deserving of respect and kindness. I thank him for his clear lessons, boiling it all down to love. Since heâ€™s passed Iâ€™ll call mom and share these thankful thoughts with her.
May I also invite you to consider formally becoming a mentor? Can you imagine being a boy or girl and not having a role model at all â€“ no person who has special care for you, who is helping you find your way? All three of the boys I have formally mentored just did not have any man who consistently cared for them in their lives. In Michigan only one of every three mentors is a man. There are 4,000 kids on waiting lists, hoping to be matched; most are boys. As you thank a mentor, please consider being one. Across the country you can call 1-800-VOLUNTEER. In Michigan you can do that or go to www.mentormichigan.org
Mentoring offers an extraordinary opportunity to give back and to. . .
Lead with your best self,
P.S. There have been some GREAT comments on my RFL blogsite, which you can click above. I was a little surprised not to see many comments after last weekâ€™s column on Dr. King day. Hope youâ€™ll consider commenting on that one or on todayâ€™s column on mentoring!