07 Dec What do you think of you as a leader?
I have a mentor who says that he only needs to figure out one thing during an interview: Is the person a giver or a taker?
It amazes me that very few up and coming leaders say they have ever been mentored. I contend mentoring goes both ways, and I believe the relationship has to be initiated by the mentee. That is, a mentor has to be selected based on the mentee’s perceived fit.
I also believe that if you have more career years behind you than in front of you, and you aren’t mentoring, you have to ask why you’re not more approachable.
I had the good fortune of climbing a Colorado 14er this summer with Mike Petschel, my mentee from the University of Colorado Denver Boots to Suits program. I suspect he thinks he’s gained more than me from the relationship, but I can assure you, the relationship is so reciprocal, I often feel I am taking more than giving.
Creating and building a successful career is more daunting than ever. You’ve learned a lot in your career, so think about giving back. I can assure you, you’ll learn that you still have much more to learn!
With the holidays fast approaching, I’d like to offer a suggestion – instead of giving gift baskets or bottles of wine to your team members, customers, and other business partners, give them something that will truly help them advance their career. Consider something that will help them grow and develop – be it my book On Self-Reliant Leadership – or another great one out there.
The Littlest Green Beret: On Self-Reliant Leadership was written to help leaders develop self-reliance to create powerful futures through a confluence of Sparta’s discipline, Socrates’ self-awareness, Aristotle’s courage, Emerson’s self-reliance, and Thoreau’s reflective seclusion. Self Reliant Leadership is synonymous with knowing which questions to ask yourself, and having the courage to answer them and act.
The book has received praise from leaders I greatly admire like one of my mentors, Bud Ahearn:
Notwithstanding your generation or your state of life – student, new hire, young professional, captain of industry, buck private, or general – this book will enrich your mind and ignite the spiritual forces of your leadership. Jan Rutherford is at once a fire-hardened leader, an inspiring storyteller, and a contemplative scholar. His treatment of Self-Reliant Leadership is the hypergolic fuel that will move you and your organization from excellence to extraordinary, from success to significance.
-Joseph A. “Bud” Ahearn, Major General U.S. Air Force (Retired), CH2M HILL vice chairman, emeritus
All the best for a Joyous Holiday Season!