The Howells Group Blog

The Magic of Mentoring; A Gift that Keeps on Giving

Mentoring Learning Teaching Quote - Phil Collins

      I love giving gifts and it’s always a challenge this time of year to exercise self control so I don’t “overbuy”! But even as much fun as it is to select, purchase and wrap a gift with a special someone in mind, I know intangible gifts are the most lasting and valuable; unlike sweaters that quickly go out of style or toys that break before New Year’s Day.

Mentoring others is one of the most lasting gifts any of us can give. Think about your life and consider what this gift has meant to you… What’s the impact of those who took the time to share experience, perspective, life lessons or some much needed encouragement with you? For me, it’s impossible to name all those who have mentored me over these last 50 some years; family members, music teachers, drama coaches, college professors, bosses, colleagues, pastors. This long list of generosity stirs up gratitude for all who have poured into my life selflessly and intentionally.

At times we can think that mentoring has to be a formalized relationship and it can be. But I find it’s more a way of thinking and acting. It’s a willingness to freely share ourselves and our experiences for other’s benefit.  Recently, Judi Johansen, President of Marylhurst University  took time to meet with the VOICES Emerging Leaders Forum over lunch at the Westin Hotel.  Our topic was visioning as a leader and Judi shared both her experience and her heart with these younger women. It was a rich and authentic conversation and all were inspired and encouraged. Judi shared life lessons as a leader on what vision really is, how a leader uses it to guide an organization and team towards a common goal. She perfectly illustrated  the fact that there is not a “one size fits all process” to vision. I know our group of young women leaders will apply these “mentoring moments’ years from now as their leadership influence grows.

This season and in 2013, consider giving the gift of yourself generously to those who could benefit. It’s the gift that keeps on giving and returns as much benefit to the giver as the receiver!

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