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Please Lead. I Need You.

Mentoring makes a difference, even from afar

Instead he cursed and muttered something akin to "Nope. Nada. Never met the guy."

Cue the cock crowing, and ladies and gentlemen, this is my life! Chance after chance to say and do the right thing and how do I land over and over?

Among my mistakes. Missed opportunities that need fixing. Again.

And then it was Peter's turn to weep (Mark 14:72).

It wasn't until later that Jesus responded to Peter. After he died and was risen and met Peter at his boat and asked if Peter loved him, Jesus told Peter to "Feed my lambs…take care of my sheep…Follow me" (John 21:15-19).

Peter. There's work to do. Let's move on.

I know some mistakes are bigger than others. I know repercussions are called for. I know sometimes correction is the response that leads to growth. Of course!

I also know it is a sign of a seasoned, bright, purposeful leader who discerns the difference. I know that because I was just on the receiving end of that kind of leadership. Do you want to know what it feels like?

It feels empowering.

It feels like I can do my job better now and, because of a behavior modeled to me, I can now model it to someone else.

This sounds small, but it is no joke.

It was no joke to Peter then. It is no joke to women today.

The June 25, 2012, edition of Newsweek described how "women are storming the barricades of corporate America" thanks in large part to mentorships among women. "Debunking the queen bee stereotype, in which female bosses are especially hard on their female subordinates, the [multiyear survey by the non-profit research group Catalyst] found that 73 percent of women who mentored colleagues helped other women."

Christine Silva, head researcher of the Catalyst study, categorized it as a "virtuous cycle."

Your leadership modeling matters.

It matters in corporate America. It matters far beyond that. Recently, women in the Philippines began mentoring other young women through a new International Justice Mission program. These are women who have been rescued from slave trafficking. Their reaction to healing and growing strong is this: mentoring other women who are trying to heal and grow strong.

If it's true that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few, I want to encourage the workers who are picking up the slack. Your work in leadership is contributing, perhaps more than you even know.

For instance, I never emailed back that client to tell her what her leadership moment meant to me. I would have had to explain to her my stomach acid. Not cool.

So I'll start instead with you. Thank you for modeling leadership. Please continue.

I need you.

Janelle Alberts is a freelance writer and has managed marketing and media relations needs for various clients such as Microsoft, Wells Fargo and UPS.

October11, 2012 at 2:06 PM

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