Sunday, January 16, 2011

Leave a Legacy: Be a Mentor

This weekend, we honor Martin Luther King, Jr., a truly transformative figure in our country's history. His legacy touches all of us in our personal, professional, and political lives.

What kind of legacy are you creating? One way to have a long-lasting impact in your professional life is to be a mentor to your younger colleagues. Some companies have formal mentoring programs, where more seasoned staff are assigned to new members of the organization. You can mentor on an informal basis by signalling your willingness to provide guidance and constructive feedback to less experienced colleagues. Whichever way you approach this worthwhile endeavor, keep in mind that what you do is more important than what you say. Always aim to be a positive role model in deed and word.

Many years ago, I attended the wedding of the daughter of a former boss. At the reception dinner, I was seated with others who had worked with this extraordinary leader and mentor. We went around the table, with each of us offering a personal testimonial to how our mutual boss had done so much to further our careers. What a legacy!

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