The Unrecognized Mentor

by Sara Steever
May 27, 2014

A colleague of mine commented the other day that it would be nice to have a career mentor.

I understand that desire. I’m part of a mentorship program within Women In Ag, partnered with someone who is more of a peer since we are at the same place in our careers. We’ve developed a wonderful friendship, but it’s not what one would consider a traditional mentor-mentee relationship.

Something about human nature craves guidance – but there aren’t many willing guides. Maybe the responsibility of being a mentor seems overwhelming. Or maybe those closest to us are too humble to consider the value of sharing what they know. Maybe it’s our own fault for failing to see that value ourselves.

I’ve been very fortunate for the last couple of years to actively transition to my role as president of Paulsen. I spent that time studying the actions and decisions of my long-time friend and business partner, Greg Guse, and truly receiving mentoring from him.

We are blessed to continue having Greg on our executive team at Paulsen, so his mentorship carries on.

Greg is a first-class mentor in that he is very generous with information and advice. That generosity is at the heart of mentorship – a genuine desire to see others succeed by sharing lessons learned. Some of the best lessons are rooted in persevering through tough times and failure, and a good mentor shares all. The other side of the equation is that as a mentee you must open your ears and mind to the actions and advice of that person. Ask questions every chance you get.

Are you missing the unrecognized mentors around you?

And conversely – could you be the mentor that someone near you needs?