I spent a whirlwind 18 hours with two friends from St. Louis who were in town for a brief visit.  It was wonderful!

Brian is a former student, turned former employee and now colleague.  When he first started working for me, we called him Grasshopper, as in Master Po telling his student: “Patience, young Grasshopper” in the Kung Fu movies.  He always wanted to learn more, do more and make things better.  Sometimes he needed to be coached in the fine art of political timing!

Yesterday he was here with his own Grasshopper, another former student who is now working at her alma mater as a professional.  Both of them together are impressive young professionals who have vision, energy, passion and a deep commitment to students.  I wish mightily that they were working with me again.

I take great pride in Brian’s accomplishments — most notably that he has passed on the mentoring he received to others.  The teaching of others is one of the great joys of my work.  To see him providing opportunities to someone else makes me feel more satisfaction than anything else he does.

Trust me when I say that any time you give in a mentoring relationship will come back to you tenfold.  Look around and see who is in your family, organization or community that can benefit from a little extra coaching.  Perhaps a new college graduate has just started in your organization and could use some tips about professionalism and norms.  Maybe you have an eager member at your church who would like to learn something from you.  Or maybe you have a nephew who could be taken under your wing.  Find yourself a Grasshopper today and, if all goes well, you can watch them blossom into mentors themselves.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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