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My mentors said very little, but did so much

December 9, 2016


Mentoring is an age-old practice dating back literally hundreds of years.  It’s a tool many cultures and societies have utilized to share knowledge and teach the young and the inexperienced what took years for the elders to learn.  Mentoring has a long and rich history.  And the reason mentoring has endured for so long is simple: it works.  When done well the results of mentoring are undeniable and invaluable.

One of my first mentors helped me early in my career.  As a wet behind the ears brand new sales rep at a telecom firm in the late 1980’s, I was assigned to a sales manager named Rebel. Yes, her legal name was Rebel, and it fit.  Platinum blond hair and a year-round tan, form fitting outfits and spike high heels, Rebel was the kind of woman who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. And all this at a time when outspoken women weren’t particularly appreciated in the workplace.

Rebel took me under her wing without my asking. She simply liked me. She saw something in me that made her want to help.  I remember sitting in her office many times, slumped in a chair and telling her