Mentoring Monday

By Sheri Scott, founder and principal architect

This week I had the amazing opportunity to serve at the Dayton Business Journal Mentoring Monday.

First, let me say, I could have easily been on the mentee side of the table.  My fellow mentors were truly some of the most influential women in our community.  I was blown away by the professional power of the best and brightest Dayton has to offer.

The event was organized in a speed coaching format. This was fast paced and well organized.  The design allowed us to ask pointed questions and give focused answers within a time limit of 7 minutes.

As with so many things that start out as serving others; I received so much in return.  Here are a few takeaways I will continue to work on myself.  Maybe they will help you too.

Get Your Head Up.

Young women are working very hard everyday in a ‘heads down, no distractions’ kind of way.  This is great for their employers, but how is it working for them?  I encourage women to look around and see what is coming your way.  One way to do this is to designate two hours a week of visioning, or reflection time.  Become the person at the table who has clearly been thinking about important topics, rather than just reacting to assigned tasks.  

Explain It In Two Sentences.

Be able to explain what you do in two sentences to a person that is not in your field of work.  As an outsider I don’t care that you are synced with your industry talking points.  I actually want to understand what you do.  It will probably help you understand what you do as well.

What Does Your Life Look Like in Five Years?

You should be able to describe this in two paragraphs.  Consider personal, family and professional changes.  Document what you see coming (kids getting older, industry changes) as well as imagining some progress you would like to see (climbing some levels, hitting some monetary benchmark).  From here, you can work backwards and build your path of what you need to do in years one through four to get you where you need to be in year five.

Position Yourself As An Expert.

You are an expert at what you do.  In this day of social media you should be writing, sharing, posting and generally educating people with what you know.  This positioning as an expert is your clear path to write your own ticket.  Yes it takes time, yes it takes dedication, but so does every other path to get you where you want to go.

Lastly, while this was a lovely women mentoring women event, I believe that women and men can, and should, learn from each other.  Everyone of these lessons is gender neutral and I intend to share each of them with my three teenage boys.

Thank you to the Dayton Business Journal for providing this experience.  It was a highlight for me.

Todd Reding