The Every Day Leader: Who Is Shadowing You?

There is always at least one person that is in my life that I know God has placed there for a reason.  The timing may not always be convenient, it may not always be in my plans, but somehow it always works out.  Somehow God knows just what I need, just what they need.  And always, when I take the time to invest in that person, I get out of it way more than I put into it. 

                                       Happens every time.

Investing in the life of another takes time, effort and a huge part of me and it won’t happen unless I take the time to do it.  It means I have to be willing to sacrifice, I have to be vulnerable, and transparent to share my life with another…my whole life.  There are parts of my life that I am not so proud of, there are times of my life I had to learn lessons the hard way.  When I invest in the life of another, it means sharing those times too. It is truly sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly, because lessons can be learned from every area and all of our life experiences.

The funny thing about investing… those relationships you put your heart and soul into mentoring, they are the ones that never fail to teach me something new about me.  Of course, I sharpen my skills and learn patience and understanding as I learn to work with someone new.  But it is so much more than that.  True mentoring makes me take a hard look at me.  As I teach and share, I also have to evaluate, I have to intentionally seek to understand myself better.  I learn the why’s of the past and begin to  see things from a different perspective.

Most of all, I am taking the time to think things through instead of plowing ahead with the business of life. 

If someone is following in my shadow,  I need to look at the person they are following.  How am I really?  Am I doing all the things I say?  Do I practice what I preach?  Do I lead others in such a way that I am worthy for another to want to be my shadow? Am I patient in answering questions?

Have you ever tried to copy someone’s shadow and anticipate their moves exactly?  It is almost impossible.  It is a pretty big bill to fill to have someone look up to you and want to be mentored by you. You have to be selfless, patient, and giving, even when you are tired or busy.

I look at those who have and who are mentoring me.  I am so thankful for them, for the time they have taken to invest in me and to make me a better person.  They have modeled for me the importance to do the same for another.

Who has God put in your life?  Is it someone who has never had a mother?  A Father?  Someone who needs to learn how to run a business?  Someone you are teaching spiritual principles to? Or maybe it is just someone who seems to be always clamoring for your attention by asking questions about everything you do and have done. They seem to be so eager to learn and soak up like a sponge anything you share.

Mentoring does not have to be lengthy and involved. Do you have an hour a week, twice a month, or a month? Scheduled times of mentoring help focus but there are also many informal times that conversations are had and lessons are imparted.

There are endless ways we can mentor another and endless opportunities to do so. Don’t miss a  chance to invest in another, you just may be surprised at how valuable they are to you!

The Everyday Leader.  Living a life of intention.  Mentoring another, always investing in those around you.

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4 thoughts on “The Every Day Leader: Who Is Shadowing You?

  1. Teresa,

    Thank you for sharing your heart. Your business sounds amazing. It may be that those you asked to mentor are already engaged in that and have a full plate, don’t be to hard on them. Your best mentors are around you. Look at those you know closely or who come highly recommended. Is there a couple in your church who have a strong walk with Christ and a strong business background? Is there someone at a nonprofit or other community group that you admire or keep hearing about how you need to meet them? Sometimes mentors need a bit of coaxing to be mentors, especially if they don’t know you really well. Show them why it would be a great mentorship and make it beneficial for both of you. What need can you fill for them?

  2. What a great way to start my weekend by reading your article. I truly agree with your summary and how much the mentor learns by taking personal time to engage in a mentor protégé relationship even when
    you are feeling over-booked. It is so true that both parties need to commit by revealing the truths & unveiling  past failures in order to learn and grow effectively. 

    I am trying hard to start my own government management consulting business and just recently self-certified as a small- and service-disabled veteran-owned small business (WOSB, SDVOSB), and economically-disadvantaged (ED-WOSB). I am just about ready to launch my website, which is required, but have very little capital, if any, to invest in the next steps especially key marketing activities and newer technology. I have reached out to other companies to explore partnerships but more importantly was seeking a mentor to help me through the next phase. I was willing to work for them in exchange for knowledge and lessons learned; however, I found no one –neither Government Executives nor company Presidents/Owners to engage in a mentor protégé relationship. Everyone seemed threatened to share knowledge or the leadership traits that made them successful, and in my humble opinion I always believed these two critical soft skills were mandatory requirements that our appointed leaders in government and military should possess (same for the private sector) !  Isn’t that what the Ivy League schools have been teaching and preaching for years? I always believed  this was the definition of leadership and entrepreneurship and truly hope our next generation of leaders not only possess these skills but are not timid or     scared to engage in a mentoring effort. Overall, just reading your first paragraph and reminding me that “I can do all things through God who strengthens me” gives me hope that everything will be okay and my future will be revealed when He thinks I am ready…not really a milestone documented on my company plan!  Thanks for sharing how important mentoring is and how refreshing it can be. I wish so many more Entrepreneurs or gifted leaders would follow your lead. Have a great weekend and may God bless you abundantly for serving in this capacity!

    Sincerely,

    Teresa Johnson
    TIPS – Technology Investment & Planning Solutions, LLC

  3. Evelyn,

    I am so glad you liked the article. Thank you for reading the blog. Mentoring is not for the faint of heart. Both the mentor and mentee must come into the relationship with transparency and teachability and both are guaranteed to be changed for the experience.

  4. I love this article. It has taken me aback when I’ve been told by people I thought were leaders in my community that they had been mentored by things I’ve done. Your article put a lot of things in perspective for me.

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