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Building Your Legacy: Be A Mentor

Building Your Legacy: Be A Mentor

By Richard Weijo  

I frequently was a mentor to younger employees in the company where I worked.

While you might expect that most benefits from the mentorship went to the employees being mentored – I found that this wasn’t true.

In fact, I discovered my mentoring meetings reminded me of when I first started with the company.

Back then I had lots of new ideas and happily shared them with others. However I was often disappointed when they were rejected; hearing all too often comments like these ideas had been considered or tried before.

So when I heard these same thoughts being voiced during a mentorship meeting – but packaged in a new and creative way – I just had to smile.

And had to ask myself – would I become one of those naysayers who had haunted my earlier career?

I soon discovered these meetings reawakened the early desires that I had in my early career to make a difference. I then felt a responsibility to make sure that some of these new ideas and changes were given an opportunity.

As much as being a mentor helped support the development of our company’s talent, mentoring also helped me to keep in touch with the innovations and changes occurring in our industry.

The additional benefit of these relationships was that with this new learning that I was now armed with and also now being in a more senior position in the organization, I was in a better position to help with their adoption.

So, if you are interested in leaving a legacy in your career – one of the best ways to do this is to be a mentor to other employees.

While you may think your efforts focus on giving forward to this next generation, you may actually be surprised by how much you may actually receive in return.

Also be sure to also make a point of telling your protégés the value you received from the relationship too. This way, you are encouraging them to become a mentor for other employees as they progress through their careers.

Hopefully by doing this, the cycle and culture of sharing knowledge and support to each other has a chance to create it’s own legacy too.

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Richard O. Weijo, PhD, received an undergraduate degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and went on to receive his MBA and PhD degrees from the University of Minnesota. He was an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Richard was also a Senior Analyst at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and his most recent corporate position was as a Manager of market research and Director of customer channels at Portland General Electric. Currently, he is a consultant and a writer. He adores his young granddaughter Elsie, whose birth inspired his book, Our Dreams For Our Children: Creating Legacies That Inspire Each New Generation To Achieve A Brighter Future.

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