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To my mentor:

Posted on January 4, 2017 at 4:00 PM



January 3, 2017 10:37 AM

This day will forever be a permanent memory for me. This day, I stopped to congratulate myself and smile. You see just one day before the New Year, one of mylong-time mentors signed up as my client.

The significance of this is more than a coincidence for me. We worked at the same Fortune 500 company. I had heard of him and how good he was at selling, but had yet to meet him. My first year in the company I was so busy evaluating, recruiting, training, motivating, inspecting, forecasting, negotiating, creating bridges, establishing disciplines, building relationships, understanding boundaries and identifying potentials that our paths did not cross.

Are you getting my point?

Quite frankly, as good as he was, I was too busy to notice. Because what I have come to know is, you don't get better by trying to become someone else, or beat someone else, or out achieve someone else. You don't need to be as smart as someone else. You Get Better, By Trying To Be The Very Best You. God opens doors for your skill set, for your personality, and for your ability to handle the blessing.

After exactly one year of working at this Fortune 500 company I was made aware that the team I had taken over was second to last in the entire United States. Exactly one year later we were number three in the entire United States. Before I go any further, allow me to explain the importance of this. Did you notice at the top when I was naming off all the things that I had to do, that kept me so busy, I did not put learning my job. The honest truth. I knew nothing about anything concerning that Fortune 500 company, except what I had been hired to do. I had been instructed to hire more people so they could sell enough of the company’s products. No one came to train me on anything related to what they had just asked me to do (and companies wonder why they fail) . I had never hired anyone before. I'm not even sure I knew the right questions to ask.

Luckily for me my military instincts kicked in and I remembered the many times we would have to do counseling sessions with team members and leaders, we would evaluate and assess where each team member was strong and where there were opportunities to become stronger. (As a leader don't waste your time looking for areas of weakness. Instead look for opportunities to help someone become stronger. They will never forget you for it).

So I quickly put those leadership skills into action (sometimes you will have to survive with what you have).

And we made it. We made it to number three in the country. The team built a team, then the team built a family culture. (When united, people are difficult to beat.)

My job is done, right? All I have to do now is inspect periodically and we should be good to go. (Inspect what you expect)

Oh, hold up! I forgot to tell you at the same time they were releasing this awesome information about our achievement, I was also informed that the company was going to do an immediate restructure and I was being asked to let go of the team I had just built.

You know I said “No"

But their argument was compelling. Move to a new position, take over a new area in a field you know nothing about or we're going to let you go.

You know what I said? “When do you need me there?

Now let me get back to my mentor. At the same time he was being asked to assume a new leadership role which would now make him my boss, and oh by the way we still have not met or spoken yet.

He assumes his new role of responsibility and I assume my new duties. And he does what leaders do, he called a meeting of all managers. It would be an all day, working lunch, training and getting to know you meeting. You know, another one of those meetings that is just a waste of time.

So I thought.

But I was so wrong. I learned more about what I was supposed to be doing in that one day, in spite of all of my previous successes, then I had learned my entire first year at this company. The man knew his stuff. But that was not what impressed me and certainly that was not what made me want to be his friend.

What impressed me was his approach to leadership, how he treated people, how he cared for people and I loved the way he trained us to be master craftsmen in our roles.

And one day, less than four weeks in this new position, that care and leadership showed itself in its truest form. I had been falsely accused of something that threatened my career. Without knowing me, without knowing anything about me, but in real leadership fashion he stood up for one of his. He encouraged me. He would not let me quit and he would not let me feel sorry for myself. He told me to focus on doing my job and being the leader of my team. All while the investigation was going on. (Don't let adversity stop you from being a leader).

He told me if I needed to talk, talk to him. If I wanted to complain, talk to him.

(In corporate America talk about it, nobody hears you when all you do is complain)

I think we talked every night. (Leadership is not what you say it's what you do.) After nearly two weeks of investigations I was cleared of all charges. The only person standing beside me from within the organization was my mentor, who was excellent at sales, but better as a person and a leader.

I cannot begin to explain to you how honored I am to have someone I called my mentor sign up to be one of my newest 1DueNorth clients. This is nothing less than a blessing from above. When you focus on being the best you, God will open doors for you.

Rick Terry

President, 1DueNorth

E-mail- [email protected]

Web site- 1DueNorth.com

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