I have learned that mentoring is very much a two-way street. The rewards for the mentor go well beyond just the satisfaction of watching the mentee grow and become confident and successful. Taking that step to help others reach their goals can be not only gratifying and fulfilling, but also beneficial.

  • The lessons you teach to mentees are great reminders for yourself.
  • Solving problems for the mentees make you step back and gain perspective on your own life.
  • Mentees can teach us a few things.
  • Helping others empowers you to be a stronger leader.
  • You grow in experience, confidence and knowledge as you try to be a good role model

This year I was asked to be a judge for the Kids Got Talent Showcase in Atlanta. My first thoughts was that I did not feel worthy to judge these beautiful, talented kids. Then I wondered how my being there could make a difference. The other judges were entertainment industry icons. But I could never say no to my dear friend Sky Coffee, the creator and producer of the show that gives aspiring young singers, dancers and musicians a chance to follow their dreams.

Sky Coffee is an extraordinary friend and amazing dancer who teaches in Atlanta. Some of her students have gone on to perform in the national spotlight, while others have become professional dance instructors and continue her gift for teaching and mentoring. She started Kids Got Talent to showcase kids who could become the next Beyonce, Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston.

Besides the chance to perform in front of record label executives, talent scouts, entertainment business owners, and managers, they also have the opportunity to win scholarships and grants. Sky gives God the credit for her success. In her words, “None of this would be possible without God. He allowed my dreams to come true. Now I get a chance to share my gifts and talents with children all over the world.”

So I certainly could not say no to Sky. I blocked out the date and showed up for work to hopefully help, encourage, and guide these cute kids. While I had hoped to be helpful to others, it turned out to be a blessing and joy for me! I’m betting that’s true for all who mentor.

The beautiful theater was packed with hopeful kids, proud parents and people who genuinely cared about seeing others succeed. It was an evening filled with love, altruism and wonderful, hard-working talented kids. I made forever friends who celebrate and encourage the achievements of others.

Whatever the venue, setting or situation, I encourage all of you to never miss the chance to mentor someone, inside or outside the workplace. Everyone involved wins.

When I returned home from the event, I received a beautiful message from my talented and very successful friend Bo Bice. Bo knows something about mentoring and talent shows. He was first runner-up to Carrie Underwood on American Idol and is now the lead singer for Blood, Sweat and Tears, as well as being a successful, admired businessman. Bo wrote to me…

“THANK YOU for supporting the “Kids Got Talent” event. Encouragement from family, friends, teachers and individuals like you, helped to guide my steps (no matter how big or small) in my development as an artist. You helped someone with your attendance at that event Barbara. Thank you!

I thank you, Bo for your kind encouragement. And to Sky, judges, parents and very talented, thoughtful, appreciative kids, thank you for a magical night of nothing but love and joy and gratitude. That’s what you get from mentoring. Give it a try…

Tell Me: Do you mentor or have a mentor?