Nov. 5, 2018
Developing a relationships and demonstrating a willingness to listen are key to being a good mentor.
Longtime industry leader Russ Meyer believes that relationships are key to professional success, and communication is essential to fruitful mentor/mentee relationships.
“Mentors need to be good listeners who are willing to take the time to develop a meaningful professional relationship. I believe that no matter who it is – customer or prospect, partner or vendor – you simply cannot succeed without relationships. Whether they’re younger people or not, the willing-ness to listen, to help somebody with their careers or under-stand the issues better, is important.
You want to make someone who is just coming into the industry or a company feel a part of it and comfortable asking questions.
“As a mentor, you set the best example you can,” continued Meyer. “You want to make someone who is just coming into the industry or a company feel a part of it and comfortable asking questions. You need to take time to respond to them, realizing they are still on a learning curve.”
Nearly 30 years ago, Meyer began mentoring a recent law school graduate named Ed Bolen.
While working together on general aviation product liability legislation in the 1990s, “I learned quickly that Ed was a special person,” recalled Meyer. “He was obviously smart, well prepared and responsive, and he quickly learned about
the industry and the issues. We developed a bond that continues today.
“I would describe our bond as mentor and mentee,” said Meyer. “I have tried to be as helpful to Ed as I could. But at the same time, I’ve learned from him as well. We have not only a wonderful professional relationship, but a great personal relationship. If I have been any sort of mentor to Ed, it’s because we share the same philosophies and we are obviously committed to this industry and want to make it better.”