It’s one of those questions that’s easy to ask but hard to answer: Who influenced you and your career? What did you learn from them? Why is it so hard to answer? Try doing it and see. If you give it serious thought, it doesn’t turn out the way you’d expect. At least for me, it wasn’t easy. I have been lucky enough to have many great people influence my career, push me to be better, and very important, celebrate my successes. Even when things weren’t going exactly as I planned or envisioned, someone stepped in and helped guide me. Life has lots of twists and turns with loads of fascinating people along the way. For me it wasn’t one person, it was many.
Think about it, who really inspired you or said something that changed your career trajectory. I know it sounds like a frivolous exercise, but it’s really not. It’s actually an important question for a number of reasons:
- First, thinking back to the people, events, and ideals that inspired and changed you has an uncanny way of reinforcing what you learned. I found it to be introspective, rejuvenating, and surprisingly motivating.
- Second, every successful business person who shares these unique experiences provides insight for thousands of young up-and-comers. It teaches them to listen to and engage a diverse group of potential mentors.
- Third, it encourages parents, teachers, friends, managers, and anyone with important life lessons to share, to play a role in the personal growth and success of tomorrow’s leaders.
Maybe it will inspire you to either seek out new mentors or become one.