I always say that it takes a village to raise a leader. I will stand by that sentiment until the day that I die. This weekend, I was happily reminded of how true that statement is. I had the opportunity to have lunch with a member of my mentoring village. This conversation was especially meaningful because not only has she been a leader in education, she has actually walked in my shoes in a neighboring school district. Normally, I would say that being a mentor isn’t dependent on specific experiences, but for the issues that I am currently facing it was definitely helpful. Being able to talk to someone who has lived it…who gets it without me having to go into deep explanation…that was priceless.
I walked away from that lunch date with a reassurance of what my next steps should be. I walked away feeling normal, and less like a pariah. I walked away feeling seen & heard. But most importantly, I walked away knowing that I am not alone. Sometimes, that is what matters the most. It’s not always about sharing knowledge or getting advice. Sometimes, it’s just about the personal connection with someone else who understands. I encourage you, wherever you are in your journey, to take the time to build your village. Who do you go to when you need encouragement? advice? understanding? If you can’t answer that without hesitating, you need to put in the work to build your village.
How did I build my village? Here’s my literal process outlined for you:
- Observe people that you admire and respect.
- Look for qualities they posses that you need to develop further.
- Ask him/her, :Would you be willing to be one of my mentors?”
- Discuss what that relationship will look like. (time investment, communication, etc.)
It’s that simple. Do it today! I promise that you won’t regret it!!