Mentoring Matters1.15.2015 | 1:38 pm | Posted by John Kilfoyle
National Mentoring Month is upon us, and we paused this week to reflect on the mentors that have helped guide us to where we stand today. The call-to-action for nationalmentoringmonth.org this January is “Be Someone Who Matters to Someone Who Matters”. This short sentence cleverly and accurately shows that mentoring is a both a give and a take; a gift given and a gift received.
As a Big Brother in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program I have been able to witness first hand the significant impact a seemingly simple interaction can have on another human life. Being a mentor is not a one-size-fits-all experience. It comes in all forms, shapes, sizes, and opportunities. We asked our team members to share a few words on what mentoring means to them:
Chelsea Smith – Design Coordinator
My mentor challenged me to always consider the principle of reciprocity. Rather than approach life constantly expecting to take something from every person in every interaction, she stressed that I look for opportunities to give selflessly and with genuine regard for the people I encounter. She also emphasized that in all situations –good and bad, we must assess our contribution and be responsible for the energy created by our participation. It is a simple notion, but it requires a strong sense of self-awareness and humility. When my mentor passed away a steady flow of adulation poured in from so many people. In her absence she has proven that we do ultimately get what we give and rather than a void, she has left behind a legacy.
Erinna Kilfoyle – Administrative Assistant
One of my biggest mentors in my life as well as in the stone business, is my older sister Kristen Kilfoyle. Since my teenage years, I had aspired to work in the family business someday. During high school and college, I often helped out at our showroom on weekends, where Kristen took on the challenge of teaching me as much as she could about the different materials and the business as a whole. I found her passion for her work to be very inspiring, and valued the learning experience during our short time collaborating together.
Jessica Aponte – Project Manager
My parents are the biggest influence and support system in my life. They may not have realized it but they were teaching me how to be hardworking, honest, and persevering. I look up to both of my parents for being strong individuals and I’m thankful they instilled good values in me and put me on the right path in life.
Jim Muller – Project Manager
They say there is no substitute for experience. I disagree. Mentors are the substitute! The best mentors don’t just show you the path they have walked; they tell you about their trials and tribulations and help you get the tools to carve out your own. The accumulation of knowledge is powerful. Mentors can provide insight that takes years to acquire. Building off one another is what leads to progress and new innovations. Just think, there would be no Karate Kid without Mr. Miyagi! We all have the ability to be mentors. As a family member, as a friend, as a coworker – any experience, any knowledge or any insight someone can offer can guide others. A few great thoughts passed on to me by my mentors are:
- “Solve a problem and you will be successful.” These words of advice have stuck with me throughout my career. Whether you’re creating a product or providing a service, if you identify a problem and resolve it for your customer, they will keep coming back.
- “Never come home from a business dinner without dessert for the wife.”