I used to live in a different part of the country working in a job that I loved. While I was there, I worked with a man who was my supervisor, mentor and friend. He was incredible. And above all, he was generous with his time, his wisdom and his support. He believed in the power of yes, and strongly encouraged me to follow my ideas. And though he was himself an incredibly busy and important man, I always knew that he would help me out when I got stuck or needed some advice.
Since I left that company over 3 years ago, we have stayed in touch. We’ve seen each other at a conference, there have been some emails going back and forth, and he’s always been willing to write the occasional reference. This meant that last week, I had no qualms reaching out to him when I knew he would have some insight on some questions I had on a project that I was working on.
After a few back and forth emails, we decided that it would be best to talk over the phone. So today we scheduled a chat.
It was mind blowing.
Not only was it wonderful to once again feel his support and admiration, but the ability to sit and pick his brain for an hour about this project was invaluable. He praised me on the things I was doing right, got excited about things that he felt were excited, and gently encouraged me to think about some things in a completely different light. A the end of our hour I had so many ideas running around my head, and a much clearer picture of where I wanted to go. And it was all followed up with an invite to reach out whenever I needed to.
I am grateful for this mentor. I’ve been inspired in my work. And I’ve been inspired to make sure that I am providing the same mentorship to those who seek my guidance, praise and advise. Because there is value in helping those who need you.