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Are You a Mentor or an Egocentrist?

A government-wide emphasis on passing along knowledge from one generation of federal workers to the next was underscored last week when the Senate passed legislation that includes a plan for Feds to work part time while mentoring newer hires and easing into retirement.

Even OPM Chief John Berry was mentored early in his career and shared his experiences with:

  1. a former General Manager of the Washington Metro Transit System; and
  2. a Conservation Biologist, who fought to save golden lion tamarind monkeys from extinction, even coming up with new solutions on her deathbed.

About the General Manager, Berry said he learned formal dinner table etiquette; and from the Biologist, Barry learned the power of persistence.

“I am where I am today because I had wonderful mentors in my life …You need people who will tell you the truth, and who will give you the benefit of their experience.”

Mentors are personal contributors to the development of our future leaders; those who will exercise persistence, resilience and (most importantly) the expertise to carry on and foster a new and emerging future for our progeny. Mentoring doesn’t have to be a formal effort. It just requires each of us to recognize and accept the mantle when confronted with opportunities to share and/or transfer our knowledge to new arrivals in our workforce.

Are you a good mentor or just an egocentrist?

If you want to learn more about a great mentoring program, check out the GovLoop Mentors Program, a first-of-its-kind, government-wide initiative that connects public sector professionals across agencies and at every level (Federal, state and local). It’s a free program, adminsitered by peers and designed to respond to the unprecedented need for effective knowledge transfer and leadership development throughout our government.

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