Close of a Mentoring Season brings new insights
By Maria Forbes
September 14, 2016
End of a Season Ready for Progress
The end of summer brings closure to four mentoring relationships. Each year I have the great pleasure of working with college students and young professionals toward a future plan that engages their personal and professional strengths. Many strategies will unfold in the lives of the young professionals seeking a path to success, and the senior college students in their final year as they prepare for a new career. As we wrap up the final days of the FIREPOWER mentoring season, I like to share the results and useful insights from the strategic conversations and advocacy we have built.
Sonia is a corporate recruiting professional who discovered her strengths in building relationships throughout her professional network. When we met, Sonia was enjoying her fourth year in a large corporate environment, yet she felt something was missing as she attempted to gain traction in her role with one particular association. Sonia’s outgoing personality and well placed knowledge had been serving her well within the workplace and professional networks. However, she was hitting road blocks that challenged her progress in leadership roles. Without awareness of her personal talents, she was missing the ability to manage her influence on others. Dependence on knowledge and skills kept her from putting her talents to work productively in a leadership role. Once Sonia understood the impact of combining her natural talents with her knowledge and skills, and her intense motivation to succeed, she was able to manage her interactions and improve communications with senior members of her networks. At the end of the season, Sonia has overcome her challenges and she is soaring ahead toward a new level of professional leadership.
Peter is entering the final frontier of his graduate student experience. He felt sure that his university activities and internships were on track until we met, and then he realized there may be more to ensuring his success than knowledge, experience, and skills. Peter was thrilled to recognize the power of his innate talents as a guiding compass in decision making. Decision he had previously second-guessed, were validated and Peter realized the power of innate and transferable abilities on his performance. Peter is now integrating his innate strengths with his education, to fulfill his professional, social, and spiritual purpose. He now has a firm grasp of his unique advantage in his chosen profession and the influence of his strengths in building the meaningful career he desires.
Pam is a leadership consultant with a strong sense of purpose toward helping women. She was contemplating a balance between a business that serves a cause, or a business that builds revenue, scale and an expanding model. While the right business vision and framework is imperative, Pam further discerned that her best direction includes her true passion, and through this mission she can serve a great cause and build a credible business model.
Conner found himself in a state of transition after relocating to the southeast to take a position with a top consulting firm. He made a move to a new firm to be near family, but he had a feeling there was more than career change at play in his life. Conner initially struggled with activating his life purpose along with a successful career, and he desired a strategy to advance a project currently underway. During our conversations he discovered he needed a strategic approach to finishing the project. As Conner completed the project he was simultaneously laid off from the new company. Managing looming self doubt, Conner realized there was mutual discontent in his consulting position. He has a strong call to coach men of all ages, to merge their life purpose with their careers, and today he has regained his confidence and is pursuing a path to fully activate this goal through writing, speaking and consulting.
No matter the length of time in a career or the desired goal, we must understand our personal power to succeed in our chosen field and in life. Providing awareness of human strengths brings forth personal firepower to sharpen a professional role, make necessary changes, or see the potential in a new plan. With new perspective and potential pathways toward the future, we can see the natural and renewable capacity to perform in others. My years in mentoring have taught me that when there is no connection between who we are innately, and the work we are doing every day, there can be a powerful struggle to develop our personal and professional best. I have witnessed the firepower that burst out of these engagements as we explore how to optimize God-given abilities within professional roles that feel right and enable us to perform our best. As leaders we must recognize the mutual benefit and long term return on investment from engaging people strengths. We get to watch people do great things when we build mentoring into our business plans. As the mentoring season comes to an end the New Year will open my door to new mentees, for whom I will lend a strategic ear and facilitate the discovery of a unique and purposeful advantage in building their future.