July Frontline Festival

Leaders Share about Mentoring: A Frontline Festival

Are you looking to be a better mentor? Or, perhaps you’re looking for a mentor. In this month’s Frontline Festival, top leadership experts share their perspectives and insights on mentoring.  Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors.

We are happy to feature Lisa Fain, author of  Bridging the Differences for Better Mentoring, with links to interviews with her both on David’s Leadership without Losing Your Soul podcast and Karin’s Asking for a Friend vlog.

Click for episode.


Lisa FainLisa Fain of Center for Mentoring Excellence shares this perspective: “So many organizations right now are worried about how they sustain their culture in a virtual world. While it is true that we won’t be able to convene in-person employee engagement events for some time, this does not mean that organizations should let up on their engagement efforts. In fact, more than ever employees are looking for assurances that their organizations are invested in them and their development. Virtual mentoring programs (1-on-1 or group) can be a great tool to accomplish this — just make sure your mentors are equipped with the skills they need to make it successful!” Follow Lisa.


Qualities of Great Mentors

 Dr. Artika Tyner of Planting People Growing Justice Leadership shares Paul Robeson: A Guide for Discovering the Leader Within. Leaders empower others to lead. They see potential in others and seek to unveil their greatness. Follow Artika.


Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership shares Fox Conner: Master Mentor. What set Conner apart was that his example of practical learning, rigorous professional standards, and gentlemanly conduct affected the lives and careers of some of World War II’s top commanders. One of them in particular was Dwight Eisenhower. Follow Wally.

Laura Schroeder of Working Girl shares Leadership: The Art of Honesty and Affirmation. Sometimes, the leadership and company culture is a form of positive mentorship simply by how it operates. Laura shares about a company she worked with that mentored by example in how they conducted business and treated their team members. Follow Laura.

David GrossmanDavid Grossman of The Grossman Group gives us 6 Steps to Be More Empathetic. In today’s world, we’re faced with a number of new challenges both in the workplace and at home – whether it’s our new working arrangements, impacts from COVID-19, looking inward as we shine a spotlight on societal issues, or something else – and our people need empathy. Here are 6 critical steps to demonstrate empathy in the workplace and better connect with your employees. Follow David.

Chip BellChip Bell of the Chip Bell Group shares, Are You a Disruptive Mentor? and If You Aren’t Mentoring, You Aren’t Leading. We live in a brain-based economy where smart trumps every competitive feature. Learning organizations are the winners. It means all leaders must be effective mentors. Learning is by definition engaging in risk-taking behavior to abandon the old and embrace the new. It is aided by a mentor willing to push proteges outside their comfort zones. We live in a brain-based economy where smart trumps every competitive feature. Learning organizations are the winners. It means all leaders must be effective mentors. Follow Chip.

Jon Verbeck of Verbeck Associates shares Halftime Report: The Value of Mentoring. You can’t just immediately jump into a mentor/mentee relationship without developing trust. It’s a process that goes both directions – me with them, them with me. Follow Jon.


S. Chris Edmonds of Driving Results through Culture shares positive qualities of GREAT bosses, which also apply well to being a great mentor Follow Chris.



More on Mentoring: Finding or Being a Great Mentor

Susan Mazza of Random Acts of Leadership shares How to Find a Mentor. Consider that a mentor is simply someone who chooses to invest in your future. Mentors can come into your life naturally, but if you wish to actively seek a mentor here are some ideas on where to look and how to find a mentor who can support you in realizing your aspirations. Follow Susan.

Maria Tanski-Phillips of Patriot Software gives us Mentoring Employees 101: Tips to Get Your Top Talent on the Right Track. If you want to build your employees into the future leaders of your company, you need to learn how to become a top-notch mentor. Check out six tips for mentoring employees to keep top talent around for the long-run. Follow Maria.

Nate Regier of Next Element Consulting gives us Anyone Can Coach with this Simple Formula. Mentoring can sometimes be in the form of coaching. Great coaches help inspire us to strive for our best, feel proud of the goals we’ve accomplished, and work together as a team. Here’s a simple formula to help you be a great coach (or mentor!)  Follow Nate.

 David Moser of Decisive Blog shares How to Double the  Breakthrough Moments with Your Team.  Mentors only get a few big moments when things “click” with their teams. Thoughtful follow-up is the best way to multiply the impact of those moments. And it’s really simple! Follow David.

Ken Downer of Rapid Start Leadership shares The Leader Apprentice: 5 Ways to Master the Learning Mindset. To improve as leaders we must always be learning. Adopting a Leader Apprentice mindset is one way to help us continually do that. This fun short story and five strategies will help you get started. Follow Ken.


Eileen McDargh of The Resiliency Group offers How to Craft a Key Retention Strategy: Mentoring. In the article, she interviews Dee Elliott about the importance of a mentoring program at work that is effective and successful. Follow Eileen.



Beth BeutlerBeth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited shares this perspective: “According to the dictionary, a mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor.  While many mentor relationships are personal and structured, you can also benefit from ‘indirect mentorship’ by less formal means such as following the writings/content of thought leaders (like the ones that contribute to this Festival!)” Follow Beth.

Shelley RowShelley Row of Shelley Row Associates shares Scaling Difficult Tasks: Leverage Your Resources. Based on an experience hiking at the Isle of Skye in Scotland, Shelley shares that when taking on a potentially difficult task, it can be wise to look for others with experience as potential guides. Follow Shelley


Are you a leadership writer? We’d love to have you join us with your articles, videos, podcast episodes, or simply your best thinking on the topic (even if you don’t have additional content to link.) Our topic for August is communication. Click here to submit your thoughts and content!

Pay It Forward Mentoring

This is a guest post from LGL Tribe Member and Winning Well Advocate, David Oddis.

Years ago, on a beautiful summer day in Salt Lake City, Utah, I learned one of the most important things a leader can do: express the importance of “giving back.” As my mentor and I met for a casual lunch, he asked me if I had “ever received a bill” from him. Like a confused puppy dog, my ears perked up and my head tilted left. Perplexed, I asked him what he meant.

He repeated the question, “Have you ever received a bill from me…have I ever charged you for the knowledge I share with you?” “Of course not,” I replied. “That’s right,” he said… “And that’s why you are 100% obligated to pass your wisdom on to someone else.”

“Have You Ever Received a Bill from Me?”

He went on to explain that at some point in my career I was going to have opportunities to give back what was given to me. It was important that I understand this concept as an obligation and not a choice, pointing out that this is how the cycle of mentorship works. It was probably one of the single greatest lessons I learned about mentorship and one of many key elements of what makes a great leader. To this day, I share that story with various colleagues, mentees, and just about anyone with whom I have leadership conversations. It was a powerful lesson learned long ago that still carries true today. And by adopting this advice and accepting this obligation, my life has changed in so many ways and it can also change yours.

The Mentorship Pedigree

“We have to continue mining the discipline to look for those key frameworks, those techniques, those tools, those mindset gems that allow us to learn and grow and create environments where problem-solving and effective execution strategies contain values needed by our customers.”  – David E. Oddis

By adopting this concept and creating the cycle of giving back, investing in others what someone has invested in you, we actually create a mentorship pedigree. You hear this when champions are discussed…from racehorses to the NFL where they often refer to the bloodline or pedigree of NFL coaches.

For example: Mike Tomlin, current head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, worked under Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay in the 90s; Tony worked for the Pittsburgh Steelers under Chuck Noll during the 80s; Chuck worked under Don Shula and the Baltimore Colts in the 60s. As you follow their bloodline, they are all ultimately tied to the Sid Gillman coaching pedigree. By the way, all of these coaches were championship level coaches, winning AFL and NFL division titles and Super Bowls. Think there is something to that? It is their pedigree…all sharing what they were taught with the next mentee and inspiring them to do likewise as they become mentors. Thus the cycle of mentorship goes.

This for me is the magic of mentorship and one of the key elements of leadership.

Do you know your mentorship pedigree?

Are you familiar with who your mentor was mentored by and so on? Do you know your mentorship history?  In some cases I have met people that can track their pedigree back multiple decades which is a really awesome story.

What values have been carried forward over the years or decades?

Have you asked your mentor who influenced his or her values? If you haven’t yet, give it a shot.

Do your mentees understand the obligation of giving back?

  • Have you had the pay it forward conversation?

Maybe this practice starts with you. Let the cycle begin!