Women In Business

Why mentoring should matter to you

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We all know – or should know – that mentoring is important for young professionals wanting to further their knowledge and career. But what we often miss is how important mentoring is for the mentor. It can keep furthering our own skills, and also spreading our influence.

Several people came up to me at a recent event and said, “My friend wants to meet you.”  I’ve never been one to shy away from connecting to others but this was interesting.  I was not accustomed to being approached by intermediaries who served as mediators.  Then it dawned on me: sometimes it isn’t that people don’t have courage—it is because they understand that many people are not approachable and willing to take the time to share.

It forced me to reflect on my story as a young woman in my twenties and early thirties.  There were so many women I admired in my local community.  Women who possessed skills I did not have but yet I desired to glean and learn from.  As I reached out, some took the time to return my request.  Others, in their busyness—either set appointments and never showed up or failed to return to my calls.

Those events were forever blazed into my brain because I vowed never to be “that girl”—unapproachable, unwilling, unable to share my strengths, my story, my success.  I wish there were things mentors would have provided.  I needed women to be a part of my journey to build and even break me down with the goal of rebuilding me so that I could get closer to my purpose.  I made a promise to myself to myself that I would be someone different, someone who was intentional about my legacy.

leg·a·cy

a thing handed down by a predecessor.

The young lady appeared in my workshop and at the end , she came up to me and wanted to meet me.  Several lunch appointments later, she has become an asset to me both professionally and personally.

I consider her to be the equivalent to my right arm.  Her youth not only energizes me but offers a unique perspective that I don’t always have.  She is gifted, talented and eager to learn.  I’ve committed to her and other young people (and not so young)—to pour into their lives, to help them achieve their purpose, and to learn from my faults, failures, and fabulous moments.

What seems to me at times as useless, random information is viewed by them as insightful, wise, and invaluable because in a world filled with technology, we’ve lost the ability to authentically share.  We are so busy with sound bytes of information that the content that matters is lost in the abyss of scorecards, metrics, and climbing the ladder of perceived success.

I am determined to have a legacy that lives beyond me that is committed to making the world better.  I want to be a part of a world that creates partnerships and collaborations between women instead of the often negative portrayals we see in the media of pain caused by women to women.

If you haven’t identified your successor, now is the time.

1. What are the three things you wish you had been told professionally at the start of your career?

2. What three things do you wish you had been shared with you at the start of your career about your personal life that would have changed your life trajectory positively?

3. Who can you pour into at work or in your community that can receive the wealth of information you  have to offer and can grow from it?

men·tor

an experienced and trusted adviser.

Even as a woman in my mid-40s, I still have mentors (some older, some much younger).  Just as much as I have so much to offer, there is still so much I need to learn to further my growth.  Mentoring others, as is being mentored, is mandatory for our personal reflection and continous growth.

 

About Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew

Dr. Froswa' Booker-Drew is a Partnership Broker. Relational Leadership Junkie. Connector. Author/Speaker/Trainer. Co-Founder, HERitage Giving Circle. She been quoted and profiled in Forbes, Ozy, Bustle, Huffington Post and other media outlets around the world. In addition, she has been asked to speak on a variety of topics such as social capital and networking, leadership, diversity, and community development to national and international audiences. This included serving as a workshop presenter at the United Nations in 2013 on the Access to Power. One of the most impactful life events for her was being a part of the documentary, Friendly Captivity, a film that followed a cast of 7 women from Dallas to India. Honors for her work include: Semi-finalist for the SMU TEDx in 2012, 2012 Outstanding African American Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2009 Woman of the Year Award by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Diversity Ambassador for the American Red Cross. Graduating with a PhD from Antioch University in Leadership and Change, she also attended the Jean Baker Miller Institute at Wellesley for training in Relational Cultural Theory and completed facilitator training on Immunity to Change. She has also completed training through UNICEF on Equity Based Evaluations, and is the author of 2 workbooks for women, Ready for a Revolution: 30 Days to Jolt Your Life and Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last as well as a writer for several publications around the globe.

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