What is a mentor and does everybody need one? The definition a mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps a less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but he/she must have a certain area of expertise. It is a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn. Interaction with an expert may also be necessary to gain proficiency with/in cultural tools. Mentorship experience and relationship structure affects the “amount of psycho social support, career guidance, role modeling, and communication that occurs in the mentoring relationships in which the proteges and mentors engaged.
I myself have been fortunate to have a few mentors in my life both professionally and personally. I believe it is important to have a balance between both personal and professional life. In my personal life I was fortunate enough to have a teacher in high school that I was able to develop a personal friendship with which continued past high school. He gave solid advice, was always just a phone call away and was always a phone call away. He was there for a lot of important times in my life, my first marriage, the christening of my kids and was there for the good and bad in between. He was an exceptionally bright man, graduating high school himself at 15 and was accepted at the University of Toronto. Sadly, Ian Barrett passed away July 25th, 2017 and I am not going to lie I think of him every day. Ian was a dog (animal rights person) and when I walk my dog throughout the day, I know he is still guiding me.
Professionally I have been fortunate enough to surround myself with knowledgeable people who have helped me see things differently in Transportation. Both two gentlemen are always there for me and support me when I take on tasks outside of my comfort zone. They are there to guide me and help me shine and are always there to build me up and to also take me aside and talk about things that maybe I could have done differently for a more favorable result.
Kim Richardson is one of the two men who I just spoke about professionally so goes out of his way to make others better. I am fortunate enough to have breakfast with Kim once a month and we talk business but more importantly he helps fill the void since I have lost my good friend Ian Barrett. Kim and I have had many of breakfasts where we both have had those belly laughs that go on for several minutes and we have both shared tears together because of personal situations. I have seen Kim pay for the breakfast of a military personnel and walk over and thank him for serving our country. I believe that everybody who talks with Kim walks away feeling that much better. It’s been a two-year friendship and I know that this will be a long last friendship.
Charlie Charalambous is another person who has a great deal to offer. Charlie and I have worked a lot together in this past year as being co-chairpersons to the 2019 T.T.S.A.O. annual conference. I have learned a great deal from Charlie, and he has been there to guide me through this at time overwhelming task, but in Charlie fashion he makes it look so easy. He is there whenever needed and will always spend time to answer anybody’s questions. Charlie is a credit to this industry, and I do look forward to help foster our friendship and our mentorship.
I always try and give back wherever possible. I love the transportation industry and I enjoy mentoring new people or at the very least offer a different perspective to something. Every day you have a new page in your life, and I encourage everybody to take that day and paint the best picture you can. Don’t look down upon people who are less fortunate as you do not know their story and I am sure they wish not to be in the position they are in. Help them up, build them up and always leave someone knowing they are a better person because maybe you said hi, shared a story or gave them encouragement.
The people in these two pictures have helped me both personally and professionally to be a better person.
Pic. # 1 – myself and Ian Barrett (RIP)
Pic. # 2 – Kim Richardson, myself and Charlie Charalambous
Be Great! Be Safe!