Who Was Your Best Mentor?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Janina Rey Echols Harrison 3 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #182066

    Steve Ressler

    We’ve all had a great mentor that’s made a huge difference in our career.

    For me, I was lucky to have one of those bosses that also was a mentor. Providing lots of coaching on how to handle specific situations and people.

    Who was your best mentor?

    What did they say or do that resonated with you?

    My favorite quote he gave me “Steve, you keep on trying to be the smartest person in the room. If that is true, that’s a bad thing and you are in the wrong room.”

    **Give back today & be a mentor for our Spring GovLoop Mentors program – sign up by 5/2****

    photo credit: Erik Daniel Drost via photopin cc

  • #182076

    Mine was Bonnie Bell, a quiet lady with a good sense of humor. Extremely smart, she decided she wanted to be a CPA one day, took the test and passed. She didn’t go to school. She told me I was the smartest person who ever worked for her. She nurtured me through the introduction of PCs to a mainframe company and encouraged me in learning the technology that went with that. I learned programming in the process. She recommended me to take on that task for other departments and for a job in Contracts Administration doing even more completely unrelated work from the accounting I was hired to do. I became fluent in legaleze and even more so in programming and project management. She pushed me into new things all the time and eventually away from her. My boss in Contracting was much the same type of personality. Lew encouraged me to stand my ground in a male dominated environment. I used their management styles for my careers, letting people know how smart they were and how to use it.

  • #182074

    Ryan Arba

    Richard Hill continues to be my best mentor. For the past 5 years we have met monthly to discuss work challenges and opportunities. In addition to listening to me whine (and help me come up with solutions), he also provides me with interesting leadership/management blog posts that help broaden my perspective. I suppose that’s a tip I would pass on to other mentors – sharing a quick leadership/management post can help open up new topics for discussion. Thanks for the opportunity to brag about my mentor!

  • #182072

    David B. Grinberg

    My best mentor was Paul Begala with whom I worked in my early 20s at the Office of the House Majority Leader (former Congressman Richard Gephardt) and then in the Clinton White as a political appointee prior to career federal service. Paul is an expert speechwriter and top-notch political/communications advisor. He has a superb sense of humor and taught me alot about media relations and strategic communications. You may see him periodically on CNN where he’s a political analyst.

  • #182070

    Steve Ressler

    Very cool!

  • #182068

    David B. Grinberg

    FYI, Steve: Ditto for George Stephanopoulos, albeit on a less frequent basis. George was the Executive Floor Assistant for Majority Leader Gephardt when I was there, before famously becoming one of Bill Clinton’s top advisors during the 1992 campaign and thereafter.

    I recall one time hanging out with Geroge in the WH lower press office watching CNN cover a live press briefing by a former Secretary of State in the briefing room next door. I was a bit surprised when the Secretary came in afterwards an innocently asked, “How did I do?” — as if he needed our reassurance. Then, shortly thereafter, Andrea Mitchell came in and grabbed a soda for the mini-fridge like she owned the place. Oh, the memories!

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