FROM OUR DESK TO YOURS
An Editorial by Kim Perotti
“Three real teachers in a lifetime is the very best of luck. I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.
My three had these things in common. They all loved what they were doing. They did not tell – they catalyzed a burning desire to know. Under their influence, the horizons sprung wide and fear went away and the unknown became knowable. But most important of all, the truth, became beautiful and precious.” ~John Steinbeck
Once we leave school, the word teacher is reconstituted by mentor. To have a gifted and generous mentor, may even be rarer than a teacher.
However, I was lucky to have three incredible mentors who took me under their wing, seeing in me and grooming in me, what I could not yet see myself. My three were at the height of their careers when they brought me, a true novice, into their fold, giving me experiences, challenges, guidance, and lessons that have shaped me in ways that are truly immeasurable. Through their tutelage, I learned to lead authentically, find my voice as a woman in a male dominated profession, organize, strategize, develop and implement policy, negotiate, collaborate, resolve problems, dismiss fear, take calculated risks, laugh at failure while learning from it and then pick myself up and try again.
Fifteen years later, there are times that I feel that mentorship has become a lost art, that those of us now at the peak of our professions are too busy with the challenges we face, and those beginning a career path do not fully understand the gift of mentorship, afraid to seem novice in such a competitive landscape. Yet recently I was reminded of how critical this art is to both the mentor and the mentee. I lost the second of my three mentors this month and spent yesterday reconnecting with those with whom she profoundly and positively impacted. I was struck at her memorial that what she accomplished as a professional was secondary to the myriad personal stories of how she positively and profoundly supported and nurtured those around her, well after I left her intellectual nest.
On the flip side my gratitude to my three, is equal to the deep respect and long-lasting relationship for what I brought to them; my work ethic, enthusiasm for all the “firsts” that had become old hat to them and relived through new eyes with new technological knowledge (yes there was technology 15 years ago). Mentorship is giving out far more than one expects in direct return, yet the rewards are intangible, and also priceless.
Some of you were probably surprised to see me pen this newsletter, as I often bow to my Co-President with his literary prowess. And I chose not to expose my thoughts just to pay homage to some amazing individuals who left such a legacy. Instead, my desire today is to create a burning fire, or at least a spark within each of you…talented, at the pinnacle of your careers…to become a mentor, a beacon for others with talent that they may not yet see within themselves.
Our profession is in desperate need of mentoring (call it supervising if you’d like) and AXIS wants to not only spur a call to action, but deliver much needed assistance. Here’s our pledge. We will help you recruit strong trainees, deliver first round content so they come to you with a level of base line knowledge, provide ongoing assistance and teach them technologies that are state of the art so they bring new resources back to you, AND…we will build a consortium of investors, lenders, software and data companies, to help you monetize your part in changing lives and reenergizing our profession. We have a detailed plan, and interest from key stakeholders. Will you join us? Reach out to Michael or me and I promise you, in the words of Phil Collins, “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” Join this newest AXIS Advantage, make a profound impact on your profession and on someone’s life.
For more information of AXIS’ Trainee Program, please contact:
Please Save the Date For:
AXIS 7th Annual Appreciation Party & CE Class
1/20/2017 and 1/21/2017
Please stay tuned for specific event details in the next couple of months. We value your partnership, and hope you’ll join us to ring in the New Year!