This past weekend, Dr. William Snow, another author here at The Leadership Center (full disclosure, he is also my father!), received the 2016 Outstanding Mentor Award from WACES (www.waces.org). If you ask him, he will tell you he is humbled and honored to receive the nomination and award, being recognized for his contributions to the betterment and success of his peers, students, and others around him.
So, what does it take to become an award winning mentor?
In the 18 page nomination you will find phrases like, “Dr. Snow has sparked a light inside of me”, “Seeing the passion that Dr. Snow has”, “endless mental and emotional support.”, “I am always able to reach out to him…thank you for believing in me”, “He went out of his way”, “Dr. Snow made me feel at ease and alleviated my anxiety”, “Dr. Snow consistently and continuously makes himself available”, “he remembered my name”, “It’s hard to describe (interaction with Dr. Snow), but it’s the feeling you get when you experience a role model without knowing it.”, and “Time after time, he astounds me with his wisdom in finding creative solutions to the problems I brought to him.”
You will also find words like compassion, passion, genuine, engaged, grace (second chances), helpful, supportive, generous, wisdom, gentle, kind, encouraging, patient, understanding, respect, positive, responsive, role model, inspiration, and creative.
These characteristics are common to everyone. The key is to learn to employ them at the right time, in the right manner, in a way that inspires others. This, my friends, is the challenge, and when developed and cultivated successfully (to help others), may just result in your ability to truly mentor others. It is up to you, the leader, to find these qualities within you, or learn to embody them, to inspire, support, and motivate others in a passionate, gentle, and patient manner to achieve their goals.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I will touch on various aspects of mentoring. I look forward to this journey with you, as we dive deeper into the joys of mentoring.
Jared W. Snow