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Leadership should include mentorship January 10, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Education, Information Technology, Management, Uncategorized.
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I am where I am today partly because my former supervisor understood the importance of mentoring new (young) people. She pushed me and encouraged me and helped me to believe I could do more than I realized. And, most of all, she coached me on how to be a technology manager then provided me with opportunities to play that role. It was because of her training and assistance that I was able to grow professionally and become the manager I am, today.

For many years I have recognized the importance of being a mentor for people on my staff and for those in the larger I.T. community where I live and work. But, that sense of responsibility to do everything I can to help young I.T. staff members grow and reach their full potential has really increased in the past year. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I recently received an e-mail from Shawn, a young person who was on my staff back in the mid 1990’s when he was a college student.

Now, about ten years later, he decided one day to see if he could find me on the Internet, and he did. His e-mail was quite an encouragement as he expressed how much he learned working with me. And, while I fear it is an exaggeration, he even suggested that what he learned at work back then has served him better than the college course content he studied during that same period. Since I work at a college I must say I find that hard to believe <wink, wink>

I must admit that I feel a sense of pride that Shawn has been successful in his career and says that I had a part in helping him become the professional he is, today.

In future posts to this blog I will be sharing more thoughts on the importance of I.T. managers mentoring other technology staff to help them grow into their profession and develop them as leaders. There is much more thinking I would like to share about this, but it will have to be another night.

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Comments»

1. David Pitts - January 11, 2007

There are so many things I can see truth in when I read this post. Probably because I agree with you, and, like you, have been the recipient of the feedback long after the time together.

From everything I have heard and seen, you are an excellent manager and a good human being. Both of those are rare sets in today’s word, and the union of that set is even more rare.

A previous employee of mine said to me the other day at Gumbo Yayas, “its just a text file, what’s there to be afraid of?” (or something similar.) Apparently this is something I said to him February or March of 2003. It gave him courage to try things and lessened the fear of making a mistake.

You never know what words people actually hear and what words they grab a hold of and make their own. You never know what action you do, or the confidence you provide will be the one thing that they are lacking… that will send them down that road less travelled.

Keep up the great work Paul!

–Moose

2. Matsu - January 11, 2007

Moose – great example, and very generous comment. Thanks for the encouraging word.


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