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                and Army Civilians have asked me what the secret to a successful career is. I encourage peers and subordinates to seek a mentor that is two levels
or ranks above their current assignment and have the knowledge and experience of their career pathway. Normally a mentor is not your direct supervisor but is someone within your career field that you admire. “The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own
image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves,” (Steven Spielberg).
The mentor and mentee relationship must be built first with trust and understanding of your strengths and then develop a career map. You both can develop a short or long-term plan and determine the frequency of your interaction. The mentor has to
be willing to share his or her time on a frequent basis to help guide the mentee through
their career.
One critical
element of
mentorship is,
of the mentor
to mentee that
builds mutual
trust and respect for each other,” (AR 600-100). A valued mentor can be someone at work, home, or school. A mentor has a sincere interest to develop people and is not focused on how it benefits them.
In my view a mentor that has invested considerable time and energy in guiding you through your career is what I call a champion. This champion is a role model, advocate for your career, and someone that will promote you to others. As you increase in rank or grade level it is beneficial that others are tracking your progress and are offering you opportunities to increase your personal and professional growth. These champions seek
out service members or Army Civilians that demonstrate the skills to keep the organization moving forward. The champion will assist in your personal and professional growth and makes sure
that you are part of the future organizational plan. I have seen some of my peers guided by a champion and they advocated for them at every opportunity and the result was their continued advancement within the organization.
Early in my officer career while on active duty,
I had a senior NCO as a mentor. He was well respected amongst his peers and superiors. I will never forget the sincere feedback and guidance
he provided me on a daily basis to ensure my success. As a new lieutenant, he provided me
initial guidance and kept me on track about how the Army runs and provided tips that helped me with my professional growth. This is just a small example of how mentorship can work even between a subordinate and supervisor. As a mentor, military
or Army Civilian leaders must be willing
to listen
and learn from others regardless of their rank or grade level.
There are many
opportunities to mentor a new Soldier or Army Civilian as they enter
a new career field, change positions, or are reassigned to a new installation. We have a responsibility as leaders to
develop personnel around us. Here at Fort Jackson, we have many opportunities to mentor each other regardless of our rank or position. This mentorship will pave the path for someone else to follow behind us and to make the organization better. Take a moment to ask yourself, when was the last time you offered your experience to help guide and develop
a subordinate, peer, or superior? Throughout
my career, I have developed others by sharing
my knowledge and experience. I have developed personnel to follow my career path based on the needs of the organization. The success of my career has been mentoring service members and Army Civilians to reach their full potential. “A mentor
is someone who allows you to see the hope inside
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