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Garren Colvin talks about the value of mentoring and how to find and develop a rapport with one

No matter how good you are – or how long you’ve been in business – you can’t know everything.


The best way to grow your career and develop in an organization is to find a mentor.

You can always benefit from the guidance of a mentor – either formally or informally.

From a mentor, you can learn key knowledge in your field, how to navigate the inner workings of your organization, how to handle interpersonal issues in a business setting, or even how to keep up with changing technology.

Build a relationship.

I was fortunate to find a relationship with a mentor early in my career. Every morning, I stopped by his office, and we had a quick conversation.

Then, every evening before walking out the door, I stopped by his office again where we would have these same quick conversations about happenings from throughout the day.

Of course, not every mentor will have this casual open door policy. And that’s okay.

If you stop by your mentor’s office, have a reason. Ask a key question. Or, relay some important information. The idea is to keep open the lines of communication. Over time, you and your mentor will build a level of trust.

When you have an idea or suggestion, you will have the opportunity to talk about the pros and cons with an experienced individual. During these conversations with your mentor, you will pick up a lot of valuable advice.

Be open to a mentor of any age.

Many people think they need to find a mentor who ranks higher than they do in the organization. Sure, you will gain much wisdom from people who climbed the ranks before you.

However, you can also learn quite a bit from people who work at levels under you. I can tell you, through the years, I’ve learned as much from people who report to me as from people to whom I’ve reported.

No doubt – the reason that I am CEO of St. Elizabeth Healthcare is my mentor’s influence. I learned from his wisdom, and I’m extremely grateful.

My mentor was my sounding board. And because I gained his confidence, he trusted me with projects that gave me the opportunity to learn, develop and grow. Hopefully, I am doing the same for others.

That’s my goal.

Garren Colvin is the CEO of St. Elizabeth Healthcare

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