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September 10, 2008

Mentoring

Brenda Haines | Strategy DevelopmentThe Rotarian, the Rotary International magazine, has an interesting cover story this month titled “The Postmodern Mentor.”

The article reminded me of college, where I was part of an official mentor-protege program that matched students with professionals working in their fields. As an electronic media major, I was matched with then-TV News Anchor Liz Mathis. Liz answered a zillion questions, watched my earliest reporting work (gulp!) and carefully but candidly offered constructive criticism.

Liz was a great mentor: She didn’t tell me how to improve but she did tell me what worked and what didn’t.

Isn’t that something all of us could use?

That’s why the Rotary story seems so timely. In an era where information and ideas are unlimited and problem-solving and focus so essential, a mentor can help you figure out what works and what doesn’t. Then, you can decide how to build on what’s working and dump the rest.

As the Rotarian points out, there are countless other things we can learn from our mentors. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from yours?