19 Jan im·pact. noun /ˈimˌpakt/ have a strong effect on someone or something
Recently I have received a large number of emails, texts, LinkedIn messages, and phone calls from colleagues whom I worked with years ago. Most of these reach outs have been from some pretty amazing people I personally hired or helped coach in my previous life (no, not the supernatural). I am referring to my career before eMentorConnect. I had the privilege to hire and interact with hundreds of incredibly bright and talented individuals and one of my greatest rewards was to watch them grow personally and professionally. I continue to feel fortunate to have been awarded the opportunity and experiences that were afforded to me in my leadership roles.
So, why all of a sudden, spontaneous thank yous for your positive leadership, for your guidance in my career? No other agendas coming through, just thank you? Is it Covid-19? Is it the uncertainty in the world that has led to this increased communication and reconnection? I am not sure. But – what I am sure of is how touched I have been by hearing from so many former employees and colleagues. We all know how good it feels to be recognized and thanked. Our networks and daily connections have been seriously disrupted during the past year and we all have to look for unique ways to stay in touch and to keep abreast of our companies and/or organizations’ ‘goings on’ since we can’t catch up at the water cooler.
What has struck me in the messages, emails, and conversations, is a consistent thread of direct and indirect references to mentoring. I say this during national mentoring month, not to give pearls of what to do and not to do as a mentor but to remind everyone that we all have areas of strength that we can share with others to help them. And, yes, we also have areas of development that perhaps a mentor can help us to develop. Remember, behaviors are linked to our emotional intelligence and the best part is that they can still be developed and strengthened with practice. It’s not like our IQ that is basically “baked” by the age of 15.
During these unprecedented times that we all hope will get better as the vaccines reach more of us, take a moment and think about how you might be a mentor to others. Our research shows that mentors gain as much if not more in some cases than the mentees. As well, as a mentee, reach out and ask someone to mentor you. Having started Pfizer’s Women in Leadership program back in 2001, which continues in some form today, I hope that my role in creating that program has ultimately had a positive impact on others, their careers, and perhaps helped mentor them through some difficult decisions and choices.
Oh and to those of you who have reached out to me, never underestimate the impact of your words – thank you! I have learned so much from so many and it just feels good to give back.