We don’t often think of ourselves as mentors. Perhaps the word sounds a bit more “high brow” than we give ourselves credit for. Isn’t it our responsibility to pass on our knowledge to others who are less informed? At what point does transferring guidance and advice become true mentoring and we can consider ourselves mentors, and our subjects, protégés?
According to Merriam Webster, mentoring is “a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career or professional development.”
Hmmm, sounds like marketing to me. Isn’t this what our clients pay us for? To be smarter? To make them smarter?
Therein lies the difference. Mentors don’t get paid – often they are not even recognized. They do what they do out of selflessness and a deeper, altruistic vision. I know because I was lucky enough to benefit from the most incredible mentor in the world. And apparently others have too:
I am so saddened to hear of your mom’s passing. I think of her often. She was so smart and hard working, she gave me the tools I needed to be successful in my career. In life, there are few people that make a pivotal difference in where you end up, and in mine she was one of them. I wish now I could have taken her to lunch and thanked her for what she taught me, for the self confidence she instilled and for being a wonderful mentor and role model.
I am sure you already know how special she was. Her loss must be devastating. I’m glad you are doing well. She was always so proud of you. I’d love to keep in touch.
I am so sorry for your loss.
Christine Chipurnoi, MS, CPCU, RPLU
Senior Vice President
Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA, Inc.
I always knew how special my mom was. She was my true mentor, on so many levels. But obviously she didn’t stop with me. She went beyond and in doing so, became immortalized in her selfless efforts.
No we don’t think of ourselves as mentors, but perhaps the world would be better off if we did.
Are you a mentor? Have you had a mentor of your own? Please tell us in the comments below.