On Mentorship and Making An Impact


This month is national mentoring month. It’s a good reminder to take the time to thank a mentor or find a mentor. Here are some tips from a previous post on the art of asking for a mentor. 

I attended an event yesterday from Step Up Women’s Network celebrating mentorship. The Step Up Women’s Network is an amazing organization dedicated to mentoring teen girls from under-resourced communities to guide them through getting into college and finding their path to professional opportunities. The program focuses on teaching girls be confident, college-bound, and career-ready with a 4 year program. Their results are pretty impressive and they have a ton of ways to get involved.

Their Power Breakfast yesterday  featured Julia Goldin, the Chief Marketing Officer of Revlon who has an amazing story that has taken her from Russia to the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan in local, regional and global roles in marketing and management. Along the way she found her leadership path and passion with the help of her own mentors.  I could go on about her story and inspiration but today I will share four of her words of wisdom.

First on mentorship:

Mentorship: It’s quality over quantity. Look beyond your formal assigned mentor at work (if you even have) and consider every situation as an opportunity to ask questions of the people around you who inspires you or have done something you aspire to. In today’s world of technology you can be mentored by anybody, in any country. Don’t miss the connections.

Mentees: Don’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions. At worst you get an answer. At best you strike up a long term relationship.

Mentors: Be open about your personal experiences, including your weaknesses, failures and learnings in addition to your successes.

The last point is about fear. When Julia had her first child her doctor told her that humans are born with only two natural fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All other fears are acquired.  This was in response to a question about the most common fear …how to gain the confidence to speak in front of large audiences.

“Nothing is going to happen when you stand up in from of the room unless there is an earthquake. You are fine. That fear is in your control.You can get rid of it rather than fall into it.”

She acknowledged that it is easier said than done. Her tips on being an impactful speaker:

“Impact is an acquired skill. Very few people are born with it. You have to learn it. You practice ahead of time. You rehearse in front of a mirror. You think about your audience and what is important to them. You learn to look at people in the eye. When we are born we don’t have most skills. So why not acquire this one.” – Julia Goldin


Thanks to Julia Goldin and Step Up Women’s Network for some early morning inspiration!



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