We all need a mentor. We need someone to show us what is possible, to believe in us and guide us towards our best future.
Mentors don’t just teach through words. They show us how it’s done through their actions.
My mentor is Ken Blanchard author of the One Minute Manager , Raving Fans , and more. He just turned 80 and showed me what a business leader, author and a man of faith is like. He made and makes his family a priority, leads his business, loves and honors God, loves and serves others, encourages and teaches audiences and readers with heart, humor, humility, purpose and passion.
Ken and his company have trained and equipped leaders around the world, his books have sold tens of millions of copies and yet if you met him he would ask you questions and want to learn from you.
Ken wrote the Foreword to The Energy Bus and is a big reason why it became a hit. He believed in me and had a huge impact on my life.
I remember a voicemail I received at 4am after he read the manuscript for The Carpenter . I didn’t know what people would think of the book. He was crying and shared a story about his father and how the book touched him. It was one of the great moments of my life.
I’ll never forget him calling me after our talk together about 11 years ago to the Cornell football team (we both graduated from Cornell) saying I did a great job and he was proud of me. Those words brought me to tears in a good way and were fuel for my soul. That team only won a game or two and he still jokes with me that unfortunately our talk didn’t help much.
I remember him inviting me and my family to his house for Father’s Day when we were visiting San Diego about 13 years ago. This was his day with his family but he made time to include us.
Who does that? Ken Blanchard does!
The picture of Ken and I is from a retreat we did together two years ago. He was better than ever sharing stories, jokes and wisdom. I didn’t talk much because he was on fire and watching him be in his element and still sharing his passion and purpose after all these years I knew this was a time to watch and learn more and talk less. I remember thinking that will be me if I live another 30 years.
My mentor, after all these years, was still showing me the way! Thank you Ken! Happy 80th Birthday!
P.S. Do you have a mentor? I’ve found that mentors don’t choose you. You choose your mentor. Ken didn’t choose me. I chose him. Some mentors you will get to know personally and some you may not get to know. I’m mentored all the time by people I don’t know but learn from. The key is to find those who are doing what you want to do. Seek out those who live the principles and values that are important to you. Watch and listen to them. Learn from them. Meet them if possible. If not, still learn from them. Then chart your own path. Learn from them but don’t copy them. You are unique and the goal is to learn from others and the past to create your unique and best future.