Thank Your Mentor Today

by Jennifer Miller on January 21, 2010

in Personal Effectiveness

Today is Thank Your Mentor Day, which is part of National Mentoring Month.  Who knew?  Over the years I’ve had LOTS of fantastic mentors, and this is a perfect time to give them a well-deserved shout-out. The list below represents my former work team leaders, company executives, peers and fellow entrepreneurs. Interestingly, none of them were a “formal” mentor to me.  I simply paid attention to their actions and their advice.  It’s served me very well.  In alphabetical order:

Deb Bailey—You’ve got to be willing to lose big in order to win big.

Janet Cortright— “Competition” is in the eyes of the beholder.

Sarah Gutek— Perspective is a valuable business tool. Don’t overreact to every little crisis.

Jack Hannigan— If your actions can’t “stand the light of day”, then you’d better rethink them.

Eric Hicks— Be elegant, not profane. It’ll serve you much better.  

Mary Urban Wright— Being a good sport never goes out of fashion. 

Who has helped you grow professionally?  Why not take a moment to let them know how their advice has helped you?  Send quick email, text or DM. . .you’ll be glad you did. 

Mentoring Resources

National Mentoring Month Resource Page

Inc. Magazine Article on Mentoring (Includes several reference links) Mentoring Directory

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Thuy January 21, 2010 at 4:08 pm

You changed your site. I like the new look! Unfortnately, up to this point, I only have one mentor that I met through our local SHRM chapter. She’s great! Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to encounter more…

Jennifer January 21, 2010 at 6:12 pm


Thanks for coming back to The People Equation. Yes, it’s changed– for the better, I hope!

I encourage you to widen your thinking about what “mentor” means. The standard definition is a person who actively takes you under his/her wing. Those people are invaluable. If you broaden your definition and “pay attention”– to those who are effective and those who are not, you’ll get a great (free!) roadmap. Then, you layer on your personal goals and style to make it your own.

Pam Rincones January 22, 2010 at 7:36 am

very inspiring. I shared it with my direct reports, and with a colleague working on our mentoring program. Thank you for including me in this great resource!

Jennifer January 22, 2010 at 8:11 am


Welcome to the People Equation! I love it when my IRL (In Real Life) colleagues stop by. Glad this was helpful to you!

thuy January 22, 2010 at 7:23 pm

That’s an interesting perspective. However, if the person i’m observing is not open or receptive, the road map is pretty much blocked and not for shared! and unfortunately, i have encountered a few of those =(

Deirdre January 23, 2010 at 6:34 am

I never had a formal mentor either – but I had lots of interesting and helpful experiences along the way. It’s a nice idea to thank the people who helped – even if it is a just a few years later! 🙂

Jane January 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm

I know some of your mentors personally. I agree with yout. They are extremely capable, ethical, knowledgable and have character to be emulated. You are fortunate and even your public acknowledgement of appreciation shows that you have learned well from them.

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