A role model or mentor often embodies what we admire or aspire to be more like. An athlete might inspire you to hit the gym, or your parents may inspire you to spend more quality time with your own kids. Whatever your motivation, a role model or mentor shapes the way we think, act and react. So, how do role models and mentors factor into the business world? What is their importance in a professional setting?
What is a mentor?
The definition of the noun “mentor” is “an experienced or trusted advisor”. The role of a mentor has many aspects. They are a teacher, coach, cheerleader and often times, your biggest critic. A mentor helps you identify areas where you can improve and achieve even greater success. They provide you with inspiration and can encourage you into taking action. A good role model or mentor in your field of business can help you clearly define your vision, what you want to achieve and, provide practical examples of how that success can be achieved.
My professional mentor
When I started my role as administrative assistant at Collabrance about 3 years ago, Kristi Chambers, Executive Administrative Assistant II at GreatAmerica, took me under her wing and began to mentor me. She has played a huge role in the development of my role, and challenges me to look at everyday things in a different light. With over 25 years of experience, Kristi exemplified who I wanted to be as an admin – hard working, innovative and, had the respect of her leaders and peers alike. In her role as my mentor, Kristi has helped me clearly define my vision, provided inspiration and, has encouraged me into taking action.
My challenge to you
First, if you don’t already have a mentor, seek one out and ask them to actively involve themselves in your development and growth. Some good qualities to look for in a mentor include:
Secondly, become a mentor. Being a mentor can grow you in your own professional development as well as helping others to grow. A company’s culture is shaped by the behaviors demonstrated by its leaders, so it’s vital to set a good example. Maybe you don’t have a formal title as a “leader” of a team or project, but don’t let that hold you back. As long as you have a desire to influence people positively, and are open and humble to be influenced yourself, you can start providing tangible value by mentoring those around you.
Kayla Juehring is an Administrative Assistant at Collabrance supporting the Vice President/ General Manager. She is active in the GreatAmerica Experience team helping those in the company to maintain a high-level of customer service excellence. Kayla also is a member of the Continuous Improvement Committee – consistently looking for ways not only to bring value to the business, but also to create a working environment that is innovative and efficient.