Leadership: Mentoring Their Unbridled Enthusiasm

All week I’ve been thinking about what makes us different, why do I do what I do, what causes the love of marketing and growing peoples businesses? I’ve been doing it almost 20 years and I still wake up every day excited and ready for the challenge ahead. So why do I love this so much? Well…
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This morning, as with most mornings, I was driving my girls in to school and we were signing laughing and talking about the great day ahead. This weekend is going to be awesome. Grandma is in from New Hampshire, we’re going to the Daddy-Daughter Hoedown at school tomorrow night, and then mom and dad (me) are running the Celebration Marathon on Sunday. Epic right?

So as we’re driving and talking, my little one is telling me about her day, what she’s excited for this weekend and other incites. She is speaking with such exciting, such enthusiasm. Today she is trying out for the school talent show by signing a song, all by her self, on stage for judges. She was so excited, showing such enthusiasm. Unbridled Enthusiasm!!!

That’s when I realized, I love what I do because each day is different, it presents its own challenges, and no two are the same. It’s amazing. Listening to my daughter tell me about today’s audition with so much excitement and energy. She’s not afraid; she has never done this before, heck I didn’t realize she wanted to sing. That’s a first. But so much passion, energy, simply Unbridled Enthusiasm!

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” ― Plato

After dropping them off at school I came into the office to enjoy some quiet time before the storm begins. That half hour from 7:30 to 8:00 is so peaceful. I get so much accomplished and completed. Ahhh. Love that time.

So today I open up Facebook and Twitter to see what’s going on in the world. In my Facebook stream was an article posted by a good buddy from Syracuse, the article was on Forbes.com entitled “7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders” which immediate got me to click it and read. As the father of two daughters, I want them to grow up strong, open minded, knowing they can change the world if they want to and try hard enough. I love to see what little tidbits can be acquired from posts like this.

As I’m reading the article I’m thinking to myself “ok you do this” or “we could improve on that” and really associating it with parenting. My wife and I always joke that raising a child doesn’t come with an owners manual so these articles offer up some wisdom or thought provoking ideas. It’s a pretty good read.
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Here are the seven “crippling behaviors” we should all be conscious of to ensure the growth of talented people.

  1. We don’t let our children experience risk
  2. We rescue too quickly
  3. We rave too easily
  4. We let guilt get in the way of leading well
  5. We don’t share our past mistakes
  6. We mistake intelligence, giftedness and influence for maturity
  7. We don’t practice what we preach

After reading the article I started thinking about how these same principles hold true in business, in marketing, in entrepreneurism. Since 2003, we’ve had several employees come and go and some of them were great people, some were great employees, some had such potential yet didn’t perform up to goals. After reading this article I reflected back at the mentoring of these people. You can apply these same practices in taking a smart, intelligent and enthusiastic person and cultivating them into a successful leader.

A very wise man named Gary Moritz, one of my mentors at Recoton, always told me “Good people are hard to find. It’s your job to determine what they are good at, and give them an opportunity to succeed.” I’ve tried to live to that mantra and know that to be true. Gary is still a great friend today and I’m lucky to have had his leadership when I was an eager young professional in my early 20s. He recognized I was willing to learn, would do what it took, and he mentored me to a successful career. I owe him a lot for his mentoring, leadership and friendship.

“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” ― Bob Proctor, Author, Speaker and Success Coach

Moral of the story: Take that Unbridled Enthusiasm of a child, cultivate it, mentor it, watch it grow. That’s what it takes to truly be successful. The world needs more mentors, people who care about others and are willing to share their wisdom to make the world a better place.

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