I recently learned yet another something through Gangplank. January is National Mentoring Month. That gave me pause to think about what mentors have meant to me.
- Don Dayley, my father – Taught me all the foundational things in life, including how to mow the lawn when I did not want to, sometimes through uncomfortable methods. He also gave me an unsurpased example of attention to craftsmanship. Everything he builds or repairs is better than new when he is done.
- Mrs. Fedler, 4th grade teacher – I found most of my first three years of public school boring. Mrs. Fedler found ways to show me that learning itself was fascinating. And she showed me that exploring the boundaries beyond expectations was praise worthy.
- Mr. Douglas, 11th grade chemistry – THE hardest teacher I ever had, including college. The scientific method, analysis, reporting, supporting conclusions based on facts and failing with good humor are among the things he taught me. Ask me why he sometimes called me “Beaker.”
- Pedro Brassinini – Taught me to love strangers more than I ever dreamed possible and to feel compassion deeper than I had known. And how self-sacrifice brings inner rewards.
- Bill Sheppard – My first engineering boss was hard and understanding with me, a green engineering student. He showed me that trust is part of doing my work well.
- Kevin Kilzer – A brilliant engineer of software and hardware. He harnesses passion for the work like no other coworker in my experience. Creativity fueled by inner fire is awesome.
- Mike Vizdos – A guide over the years of my journey into the Agile and Scrum world. Quiet thought is a powerful tool, which he knows and shows how to use in all his work.
- The Ignite Phoenix Team have shown me Agile collaboration skills and community building prowess that I hope rubs off on me. (Don’t tell them they are Agile, they’d get too self-conscious.)
I could go on with more mentors, some who don’t even know the little, important things they have taught me. You should take some time to make your own list, even just mentally. You have had some great mentors too, or you would not be where you are.
Before I knew January was Mentor Month, I was invited to be a member of the mentor team at Gangplank. I’m one of the mentors on business operations. Once a month, more often when I can, I’ll have office hours at Gangplank. You can book a 45 minute session with me to ask questions about Agile and Agile frameworks like Scrum and Kanban.
My first mentor day is in the afternoon of Tuesday, January 25th. No fee, just set your appointment with the Gangplank Director of Operations and let’s talk about taking your operations to the next level.
I can’t necessarily give back to all the mentors in my life. But I can give to someone, who can build something great and give to someone else!