Monthly Archives: April 2010

The Orginial Social Network for Business – A Mentor

Last night I had a pretty special dinner with a pretty special person out here in California.  This person isn’t just an acquaintance or a friend or a past colleague.  This is a person I hadn’t talked to in over two years.  But it’s someone I’ve known for 1o.

I met her in 2000 at one of my first PRSSA meetings at Southwest Texas State.  She and her friend had taken the time out of their work and family schedules to come down south and talk to students interested in careers in PR.  It was that night that I met my mentor, Christina Moore.

So why write about a dinner? Why bring up old memories?  It’s simple. I’m appreciative. I’m appreciative of a person who has taken her time to attend many lunches to hear me ramble on about my job, my life decisions, my goals, my adversities.

At the end of each meal after listening and carefully nodding, she would summarize and synthesize my thoughts, provide an example or two of similar situations and then suggest and encourage what options could be next for me.  Always spot on and I was always appreciative.

I wrote this post not to detail a dinner or to bring up old memories, but to acknowledge the importance of finding a mentor early in your career and how nurturing the relationship could pay off.   Based on my experience, I’ve complied a list of traits to look for in a mentor and what structure has worked for me.

Choosing a Mentor

  • Seek a person that is at the level in the profession you aspire to achieve
  • Choose a mentor that shares the same profession, but maybe has a different expertise.  If you want to gain perspective of your situation, look for someone who has a different viewpoint.
  • Communicate what you hope to achieve out of the mentor/mentee relationship and both agree on the desired goal.
  • Schedule meetings in advance to put them on the calendar, even if something comes up, it’s easier to reschedule than to try and get on someone’s schedule.
  • Prepare. Before meeting, do some homework and bring one or two issues that you’d like insight to. This helps guide the conversation and respects both of your times.
  • Always stay connected.

To be completely honest while at dinner I didn’t follow my rules and I rambled. I talked about everything I could think of to catch her up on my career.  Why? I’ve worked hard for many reasons, one being because I had a great example to emulate.

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A Cool List to Make

Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang) publishes a list of people who are on the move in the social media world.  It took me long enough to realize I was on his most recent list.  Very cool.

Matt Ceniceros joins Applied Materials as Director, Global Media Relations. He’ll develop and execute traditional and social media strategy across the company’s diversified line of businesses and product categories.

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What I’ve Learned: Memphis

I’m huge fan of the Esquire “What I’ve Learned” series, so as I board an empty United flight on Easter Sunday, I thought it would be fitting to explain what I learned from my years in the Bluff City.

The Mississippi River looks peaceful from one of the many rooftops of downtown, when in fact, there are many currents moving quickly and every which way underneath. I try hard to give off the same appearance

Water can be restorative, healing and destructive. It can divide people, damage things, but it always heals

No matter where you go or what environment you live in, your kids learn more from the environment inside the house. The talks at the dinner table, the morals values and role models should never change (I thank the Arenas family for that one)

A true friend is one that doesn’t ask you about all your deep dark secrets. A true friend shares his and expects nothing in return…and if you did confess everything, he’d love you just the same

When I finally saw God as the ultimate teacher, rather than the ultimate authority figure, I began to see His true glory. The 10 commandments aren’t rules, they are suggestions for a great life.  Following them brings happiness and wholeness, not brings shame and sadness and destruction

The tears in my eyes aren’t from leaving, they are from being thankful for having the opportunity to know and work with such amazing people

It wasn’t hard leaving Austin because I loved so much about the city, it’s hard leaving Memphis because I love so many people

I leaned my physical limits in Memphis. The city, the time of my life, the people in it, I don’ know what it was, but I was told to slow down in not so fun ways

The more I matured the more I came to appreciate people and the love I had to give and the love I received

My wife is the strongest person I know. There is something quite humbling and rewarding to know that’s the person you get to wake up next to for the rest of your life

In the time spent in Memphis we lost some wonderful people from our families. 3 years ago today I lost my mother-in-law. Life isn’t very fun sometimes

Yes. It is cold South Carolina. In January and colder when you’re on the beach

Whether it’s a Texas or Tennessee birth certificate you can still be a Texan. I pray that every night for my baby girl

What made my kids have so many great friends were their great parents. I love my son for introducing me to so many wonderful, smart and fun people

It’s okay to ask for help

My sinuses hate me

Fishing isn’t about what you catch, but about who you catch with. And sometimes you don’t catch fish, but other more terrifying things….and that’s what makes a great memory.

The subtle beauty of purple

Sometimes you need more than one type of saw to get the job done. And even if it doesn’t look pretty, the hands that made it know every inch, foot and ounce of beauty it holds

Don’t judge the broll!

I’m a better person for my time in Memphis

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