I do think having a mentor relationship with somebody. I think people feel that your mentor should be somebody higher level than you, older than you. The mentors that I’ve had in my career have usually been peers of mine or somebody that is even a lower level. And it’s somebody that knows me well, that can give me advice that I can ask questions. You’ve got to pick somebody that’s going to help you develop those areas that you want to develop. So, don’t think that mentorship is about you getting ahead because you know somebody. Networks are important, but when it comes to developing the skills you want to develop and the advice that you want to be given, it comes down to the people who are going to give you candid, good feedback, and who know you. So, mentors are important, but be careful on who you pick as a mentor, you have to be able to get along with them. They have to know you and it’s a give and take, right? It has to be a two-way street. So, mentorship, I think is extremely important.
I talked about being a grunt before being in leader. Again, I think it’s important now. It’s worked very well for me. I get somebody who understands the roles that they’re leading. When you don’t understand the roles that you’re leading, you’re not going to have the respect there and you’re not going to have the trust. So, that to me is probably the second thing.
Third thing, diverse team. You’re not going to get your best solutions unless you have a team that is diverse and that’s culturally diverse, that’s race diverse, that’s sex diverse, especially when you’re going after the markets that you’re going after. And if you are a global company, you have to have that diversity in everybody. That’s something I didn’t find in the supply chain team when I came. That’s something that you will absolutely find now, when you look at the demographics of the supply chain team that we have. To me, diversity of people will bring that diversity of thoughts, diversity of ideas, diversity of the solutions that you provide.
Again, extremely important, it comes down to respect for people. People can work, especially during the pandemic, people can work wherever. We proven that we can be efficient by working everywhere around the world. We have to understand that, we have to respect that the world is very different place than it was a year ago. People are worried about their kids going to school that haven’t been vaccinated. People are worried about their families and they want to make sure that people stay safe. You have to respect that. So going back to work is never going to be going back to work. It’s going to be some hybrid of that. We have to accept that as employers, and the employees have to accept that as employees, it’s going to be different.
But one thing, you can take this to the bank, the world will change. And if we don’t embrace that change, then you will be left behind. Nine times out of 10. So it’s all around people. And it’s all about respecting the diversity of the folks and having faith in them as you move forward.
I had a conversation with my boss yesterday and, the one thing that you never want to worry about, and it’s always been important to me, and it’s important to a lot of my direct reports. I never want to worry about how I’m being compensated or how I’m being rewarded for the job that I’m doing. And that’s the job of the leader in the group. And if you can take that, worry away from your employees, give them the rope and tell them to go take those risks and move the needle forward because the needle is the most important thing that we have for our shareholders and our clients move that needle forward. If you could take the worry about their compensation and all that other stuff and just have their back as they move forward and take those risks. Believe me, things get much easier, much, much easier. And I was just having that conversation with my boss yesterday.
It’s all around people. And you know, I’ve often stood up in front of folks and said, you know, we have a lot of executives around here, we don’t have a lot of leaders. And it’s the leaders that have those attributes that make the difference in the business.