They Made Such a Difference
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

This morning while I was shaving, a cold chill came over me. I had a flashback to a time when I was the president of Selflock Screw Products. It was a frightening time, a time when I wasn’t sure where to turn or what to do. The pressure of running someone else’s business made me question if I was up for the challenge.  Within a few seconds, a calming feeling came over me as I reflected on where I am now on my leadership journey. Not where I am in terms of my job, but where I am in terms of my leadership journey and how blessed I am to have had so many mentors who poured into my life. I would like to share a few of them with you.

My dad was my first mentor, and thankfully I am blessed to still have him adding value to my life every day. I don’t talk with him daily, but each day his teachings and the example that he set guide my decisions. Whenever I teach Supervisory Leadership and need an example of an amazing leader, Dad will come to mind, and I share a story.

Donald F. Dew was the chairman of Selflock’s board when I became president and was an incredible mentor of mine. Don had a way of asking me the right questions at the right time. He had a joyful, quiet confidence that he shared with anyone who would listen. He took time each week for a full year to help me understand the role of a senior executive. After he retired from the board, we still met frequently over lunch to discuss my concerns and our annual business plan.

As you may already know, John C. Maxwell has been mentoring me since before I ever met him. He mentored me and continues to mentor me through the many books he has written. When I finally had the opportunity to meet him, he didn’t disappoint me. He really is that fatherly figure who just loves people and adding value to their lives. I especially love his audiobooks where he reads his own work. They seem to come alive in a different way as I hear his familiar voice.

These days I have additional mentors. They have not taken the place of any of my original mentors. Instead, they add new learnings and experiences to my life. Do you know where I would be without them? Still a frightened leader with chills running down his spine wondering what to do next.

How about you? Are you trying to do it alone? Tune in to Episode 88 of The Next Page as Marisa, and I discuss our mentors and mentoring.

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