10 Gifts Great Leaders Give

Kris Taylor of K Taylor & Associates in Lafayette authored this holiday post as part of her Evergreen Leadership program. The “gifts” apply no matter the time of year.

I’ve worked with great leaders, mediocre leaders and one or two really poor leaders. I’ve done my work, to the best of my ability, with all of them. I’ve learned from all of them. Yet in reflecting back, the really great leaders gave me many great gifts.

These are the gifts that last over time. They are not very tangible but are always present. They’re gifts that altered the way I saw myself, or my situation, or the world around me – gifts that stuck, that keep on giving.

 I am eternally blessed by and grateful for these gifts.

  1. Confidence in my abilities, my potential, my judgment and my integrity
  2. Wisdom by sharing freely their truths, experiences and knowledge
  3. Mentoring and coaching to guide me to a better place, always challenging, at times seeing more in me than I could see myself
  4. Opportunities to test my skills and learn new ones, ones that pushed me further than I was comfortable with at the time
  5. Support for when I failed myself or others
  6. Unconditional respect even at my worst times
  7. Perspective and vision, especially when I wallowed in my narrow view of the situation
  8. Courage to do the things that are right, but not necessarily easy
  9. Focus on results insisting that I follow through, do what I was charged to do and to find ways to overcome the inevitable obstacles
  10. Navigation through the organization, helping me learn how these people in this place get work done

My challenge is this: rather than giving “things” this year, which of these 10 gifts might you give at work? At home? In your community?

Pass the Torch for Women Luncheon Set for Aug. 14 at Ivy Tech (Indianapolis)

Mentoring Women’s Network is hosting the Pass the Torch for Women Luncheon August 14 at the Ivy Tech Corporate College and Culinary Center in Indianapolis.

Join us for the inaugural “Pass the Torch for Women Luncheon”, with proceeds to benefit the Mentoring Women’s Network Foundation.  Pass the Torch for Women will inspire women everywhere to support one another through mentoring relationships.

This event is chaired by Traci Dolan and will feature Billie Dragoo, CEO of Repucare and acting CEO of NAWBO, as the honoree.

Keynote speaker will be Dottie Gandy of Dallas, Texas.  Ms. Gandy is the founder of The Up to Something Group in Dallas, TX, whose members choose to be intentional about designing the lives they want – and create extraordinary results in the process.

The agenda includes a panel discussion on mentoring and networking opportunities.  Plan to join us for a delicious lunch and silent auction, with proceeds to benefit the Mentoring Women’s Network Foundation and the Pass the Torch for Women campaign.

You can register to attend online, and corporate sponsorships are still being accepted.

For more information, Sunny Bray, director of corporate partnerships, penned this guest blog for us in February:

Mentoring Women’s Network, a community of empowered women supporting one another personally and professionally through mentoring relationships, is holding their inaugural event, “Pass the Torch for Women Luncheon,”  August 14 at the Ivy Tech Corporate College and Culinary Center.

Pass the Torch for Women is chaired by Traci Dolan of ExactTarget and an executive leadership team including senior representation from women from Angie’s List, Fifth Third Bank, Simon Property Group, First Merchants Bank, and many other companies.

The Pass the Torch for Women event is intended to inspire women to pledge to mentor and help develop one another personally and professionally, in order to create new opportunities and advance women in the workplace. Women are making advancements in the workplace and in business, yet we have much work to do to continue to advance women leaders.

Sponsoring this event provides your company with positive visibility and association with a well-regarded national organization. Sponsorship also creates access for your female employees to year-round programs and resources aimed at leadership development, connections and social responsibility.

More than 475 women of the greater Indianapolis business, medical and civic communities will attend the 2014 Pass the Torch for Women Event. Your participation in the Pass the Torch for Women Event affords you networking opportunities and additional benefits.

If you’re interested in supporting this program, contact me at [email protected] or (317) 575-4077.

Mentors Needed in Central Indiana — and It’s a Great Way to Help Your Community

"When he took time to help the man up the mountain, lo, he scaled it himself." – Tibetan Proverb

I’ve been involved with Trusted Mentors in Indianapolis for about six months now. In that short period of time, I’ve built a relationship with someone and watched him make tremendous strides in finding employment, his own place to live and even gaining custody of his son. I’m sure our relationship has been as beneficial to me as it has to him, and I’d like to ask others in Central Indiana to consider becoming a mentor.

In Indianapolis, we are fortunate to have organizations like Horizon House to provide social services for those in need — and based on what I’ve seen, they do amazing work. But that support can only go so far and last so long. It’s up to members of our community to step up by donating time as well.

There are plenty of folks in the Indianapolis area who could use the help, and your support could just be the tipping point they need to stay on the right track and avoid the perilous trap of homelessness. The commitment is just a few hours per month, and there is currently a strong need for more mentors — and the largest need is for women over 30 years old (mentors and mentees are always the same sex, and often around the same age).

Here’s some more info on the organization:

Trusted Mentors provides volunteer mentors to adults at risk of homelessness. Building on its success, it has expanded its mission to include other populations at risk of becoming homeless, including low wage earners, ex-offenders and young adults aging out of foster care. It uses the power of mentoring to help adults establish stable lives by reducing the chaos brought about by poverty, homelessness, underemployment and the effects of incarceration. These person-to-person mentoring relationships improve lives by developing life skills and positive social networks that empower people to:

  • Remain housed
  • Make a positive contribution to the local community
  • Stay or become employed
  • Advance their education
  • Stay out of jail
  • Improve parenting skills

"The opportunity for mentoring at-risk adults in Central Indiana is significant," explains Trusted Mentors Match Director Craig Neef. "In Marion County, approximately 7,000 people are homeless sometime during the year. In excess of 5,000 ex-offenders are released and re-enter the community each year. Trusted Mentors works with partnering agencies that provide an array of services for low wage earners, ex-offenders and young adults who are aging out of foster care. We work closely with the case managers in these organizations to complement their efforts with mentoring services leading to more successful outcomes."

For more information, feel free to contact me about my experience at [email protected] or (317) 264-7541. Or you can reach Neef directly at [email protected] or (317) 985-5041. We hope to hear from you.

Making a Mentoring Difference

Mentoring is a simple yet transformative relationship that advances individuals both personally and professionally. The inaugural Inspire: Power of Mentoring Awards will celebrate the efforts of seven individuals and one organization for their use of mentoring to inspire excellence. Each selected Mentor of Excellence will receive an award, media recognition and public recognition at Inspire 2010, which will be held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, on February 24 at 11:30 a.m. 

Award categories are in the following industry categories:

  • Accounting, Banking & Financial Services
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Health & Health Sciences
  • Education
  • Technology
  • Athletics

In addition to the industry mentors, one Community Mentor of Excellence and one Organization of Excellence will be selected.

The selection committee chairs are:

  • Randy Reichmann, Old National Bank
  • Dave Becker, First Internet Bank
  • Rob Hillman, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana
  • David Shane, LDI, Ltd.
  • Jim Jay, TechPoint
  • Tully Bevilaqua, Indiana Fever
  • December Warren, IYI’s Indiana Mentoring Partnership
  • Roland Dorson, Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce

 You can fill out a quick and easy nomination form here (the deadline for nominations is January 31) and visit College Mentors for Kids for sponsorship and ticket information.