Tell us how your mentor has supported and elevated your career.
Funny that this is the topic of the moment since the idea of ‘mentorship’ is particularly relevant for me with the recent celebration of International Women’s Day. This provided me an occasion to look back on the women that have positively influenced my career, and the first person that came to mind was my mentor, for whom I am forever grateful. My boss lady mentor from the agency days discovered a special spark in me. She understood my dreams and my ambitions and, therefore, continuously invested in me by carving out growth opportunities that would fuel stardom into full-fledged success. When she made big moves from agency life to client side, she brought me with her. When she saw our organization shifting towards a particular model, she was open and honest with me about the changing tides and brought me into the conversation, allowing me to control my own destiny while also guiding me towards roles and opportunities that would make me shine. When I was overlooked for promotions, she helped me build my case and delivered an equal opportunity playing field. Not only did she invest in me and help me cultivate my strengths, but she was also the gold standard of leaders and served as a role model for an entire organization that was privileged enough to work with her.
To me, this is the true testament of a great mentor, when they are not only in support of your hopes and dreams, but you admire the way they lead and contribute to the business and its future. I remember in the early days just sitting for hours and studying my mentor’s emails, her presentations and the way she articulated herself. I feel so lucky to have a mentor that is truly one of the ‘greats’ and was thrilled I could reach out to her on that special day and honor her in all that she is and all that she does.
What are some tips you would give to a new mentor in how to spot, train and elevate a rising star?
I believe the key to being a good mentor is embracing virtues that, at first glance, may seem quite the opposite of what it means to be a good role model and leader. In my experience, the combination of being a good listener, eliciting compassion, and empowering others are qualities that breed success for individuals, for leaders and for teams.
*Please Note: All statements are the opinion of the author and may not necessarily represent the views of The ADVERTISING Club of New York.