I always had a preconceived notion of what a mentor is. I had this thought that they should be a scholarly person, mature in years and deep in knowledge. Like our chairman Jay Blaushild, who many inside and outside of our company and industry consider to be a great source of knowledge and experience. I would like to say that Jay has forgotten more than I could hope to know but we know he hasn’t forgotten any of it! I greatly respect his industry and company experience and have asked his opinion often. (Jay, we need to schedule lunch soon…).
To be a mentor it would help to have the eighty plus years of knowledge that Jay has but it is not a prerequisite. We can be a mentor to anyone with whatever knowledge that we possess. I see associates all the time who mentor one another in their specific roles. One driver can help another driver learn a delivery route or deliver memorable service to a customer. I see associates share their system knowledge with others on how to become more efficient or learn a new feature in Eclipse or on a scanner. Every associate has knowledge and experience that they possess that others could find useful. All that you have to do to is to share that knowledge to become a mentor.
I became a baseball coach a couple years ago for my sons’ baseball team and I have found that coaching is a tremendous mentor role. I did not possess much knowledge or experience in coaching prior but I love the game of baseball and knew enough to be dangerous. What I found was that it was not how much I knew about the game but it was more important that I had a desire to share the game with the boys on the team. The team taught me the value of being a mentor by using the knowledge I have given them to become better players and better sportsmen. There has been great satisfaction in watching them grow into not only a better team, but into respectful young adults as well.
Please take some time this week to be a mentor to someone and share what you know to help others make Famous a better company.