Manna from Mentors

During my storied career in the financial services business, I’ve been very fortunate to have worked for some excellent bosses who, it turns out, operated more like mentors. Sherry Cooper of BMO Nesbitt Burns, Rick Behnke at Scotia Capital, and Mike Binette at Blackmont Capital are three who stand out.

Each had very exacting standards and each offered constructive criticism quite freely and, I daresay, often. Yet without exception, each recognized and  rewarded dedication to the job, even if the employee in question (me) was less than perfect in executing every required task.

The benefits of working for these intense individuals far outweigh any stress that might be associated with trying (and sometimes failing) to meet their high  expectations. This, in my estimation, is healthy stress, i.e., it is motivational in nature versus the soul-sucking, nerve-wracking stress that can be generated from working for a bad boss … but that’s another post for another day.

With a demanding-but-fair boss/mentor, you can’t help but learn, correct, learn, correct, and learn under their guidance. What makes a manager/mentor particularly effective is the incredible balance they are able to maintain between discipline and encouragement. While I may have been on the receiving end of their disappointment on more than one occasion, I was also fortunate to be in their continuous supportive employ until my career path or theirs directed us elsewhere.

The experience of learning every day, enjoying a sense of accomplishment every day, and yes, shaking my head sometimes at how goddamn demanding they were everyday (!), has served me well and I am indebted to each of them for nudging me along, more or less forcefully.


One Comment to “Manna from Mentors”

  1. Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so. – Unknown

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