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The mutual benefits of professional mentors

Several people came up to me at an 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 are cognizant to understand that many people are not approachable and willing to take the time to share.

Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew, National Community Engagement Director for World Vision author of ‘Rules of Engagement: Making Relationships Last’ talks about the value of mentorship.

Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew, National Community Engagement Director for World Vision and author of ‘Rules of Engagement: Making Relationships Last’ talks about the value of mentorship.

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 people especially 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.

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 instead of the often negative portrayals we see in the media of pain.

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?

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 continuous growth.

Follow Dr. Froswa’Booker-Drew on Twitter@Froswa