Tag Archives: Mentor

People Come First

People Come First

An Art of the Question Blog

Do I Put People First?

The lips only know shallow tunes. The heart is where great symphonies are born.

                                                                                        – Dr. Calvin Miller

He wrote and published over 40 books, traveled all over the world, and taught some of the best and brightest young minds of the past four decades.  He wrote on topics ranging from faith to fantasy, from love to leadership, from philosophy to poetry. He was an accomplished artist, writer, musician, professor and leader.  He was a modern renaissance man, a visionary whose interests were varied and relevant.

His name was Calvin, and he passed away recently.

He was my friend.

Yesterday I learned of yet another loss.  One of my colleagues was killed, the victim of a fatal accident.  He was a bright, ambitious young man, filled with plans and energy. He was gifted in many areas.

His name was Zach, and he too was my friend.

These men didn’t know one another. Neither of them expected to die. Both of them left a tremendous empty spot in the universe. They have been, and will continue to be, celebrated and mourned in turn.

Calvin’s passing left me stunned and filled with questions. Zach’s passage left me reeling. The unexpected nature of their loss affected me on a fundamental level. As I began to take stock of all the world had lost, I also thought about all it had gained because these two men had passed this way. The world was irrevocably changed for the better because of their lives.

And I began to wonder, what was it about them that left such a powerful legacy? I know Calvin had a strong desire to mentor leaders, and Zach had a similar desire to help others in any way he could.

And suddenly I saw it. They both understood the truth that People Come First. It was a truth they carried in their daily work.  It showed in the way they related to others. It showed in how they responded to others. It shows in how lonely the planet has become without them.

People come first.  I have a friend who is a bit of an introvert, although he is in a profession that requires him to interact with people of all types for most of the day. On the wall of his office, he had a whiteboard. On the board were scrawled the words, “It’s about the people, stupid!”

It is about the people.  Businesses come and go. Trends come and go. Technology comes and goes. But people are the center of all of it. They are the customer, the end user. They are the inventors, the innovators. They are the service provider. They are the team that makes it happen. They are, quite literally, the lifeblood of it all. And every one of them has a dream. Every one of them has a life. Every one of them has someone they love. Every one has something about which they are passionate. Every one of them has a tremendous gift and talent in some area.

So take the time to listen to them. You may learn something that will help you to be better able to accomplish your own goals. Take the time to care about them. Every investment in another human being, no matter how small, is powerful.

Recently I was selected for jury duty. As I sat in the waiting area, surrounded by several hundred others, a woman approached me and called me by name. I looked up, and she said, “Do you remember me?”

I did. Earlier in my career I managed the Bellsouth Mobility customer operations team for the state, and she was one of our online reps. “Yes!” I replied. “How are you?”

“I am doing well, thank you. But I came over here to show you something.” From her purse, she pulled out a piece of paper that had been folded and refolded so many times it was threadbare. It was held together in places with clear tape.

Unfolding it carefully, she held it out for me to see. I recognized my own handwriting. It was a thank you note I had written her for doing a good job on a project.

 She said, “I think of you often, and I carry this note with me to remind me to always care for my team the way you cared for us as your team.”

I was speechless. The letter was over ten years old.  

That one note, that small act of kindness which probably took me less than 1 minute to write, had set in motion a chain of influence that I could never have imagined.

People matter. If you would be a person of influence, if you would leave a legacy that resonates long after your direct influence, remember this truth and treat them as though they matter.  People come first.

Terry’s new book, The Boss, is available now. Go to terrynewberry.com/theboss to place your order. Also available through Amazon.com


Investing in Others

Investing in Others

An Art of the Question Blog

How am I investing in others?

Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing others.      

                                                                                                                                                                             — John Maxwell

John has a passion. He wants you to be the very best you can possibly be.  That is the mark of a true leader.  A real leader wants others to grow into the best version of themselves. John is a master at this.

John Maxwell invests in others.  He does it by writing books (50+ and counting!).  He does it by speaking (to millions and millions).  He does it by radio, TV, the internet, DVD, CD…you get the picture.

How about you? How are you investing in others? Perhaps you haven’t yet written a book or been on TV.  Maybe you don’t have a blog or a website or even a business card. But you can invest. You can become involved in a mentoring relationship.

According to ancient Greek legend, a king named Odysseus went to war. He entrusted the care of his son to a close friend named Mentor. The word “mentor”, used to describe a wise and trusted counselor, thus became a part of our language.

Another interesting bit of trivia is related to the word “protégé”. This word comes from the an old French word which means “to protect.”

Mentoring is critical in the life of a leader. From King Arthur, whose mentor was Merlin the magician, to Timothy, who grew into a strong leader under the mentoring of the Apostle Paul, history is filled with story after story of mentors and protégés.  Former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop was mentored by a typographer!

There are two keys to every successful person. The first is that they have a mentor.  A mentor is someone who helps sort options and identifies opportunities. A mentor gives advice and perhaps most importantly – perspective.

The second key is to be a mentor.  Every one of us can mentor someone.  It doesn’t take a lot of money or even time. It basically means that you meet with them periodically and discuss what is going on in their business or family or life, and offer expertise, perspective and advice if asked.  I have the good fortune of having several mentors. I have the great fortune of having several friends that I also mentor.  And you want to know a secret?  I learn as much from those I am mentoring as I learn from those who mentor me!

There are several mentoring models. Find the one that works for you.

Traditional: In this model, there is a mentor and someone being mentored. Don’t have a mentor? Ask. You may be surprised to find that the person you most admire would be honored to work with you.

Peer – to – Peer: In this model, each participant is a co-mentor. They work together, each bringing their particular skill set to the process.  An example of this might be a sales expert in a Peer-to-Peer mentorship with an IT person. Each is in a position to help the other.

Group: In the Group Model, several people meet. One of the popular versions of this is the Group-of-Ten in which 10 people meet regularly to discuss current projects, issues, and provide insight and advice.

Pick a model, or try all three. The important thing to remember is that none of us are as smart as all of us. Investing in others is a great way to not only influence others, but we ourselves grow as a result.

Who would you like to have as your mentor?

Who are you currently mentoring? What can you do to begin a mentoring relationship within the next week?

For a free copy of Keys to Effective Mentoring, send an email to Terry at terrydnewberry@bellsouth.net.

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