It could be a friend, a sibling or an industry professional. A mentor is an individual who adds insurmountable value to another’s life through their presence, guidance and support. A mentor inspires and nurtures; he or she is a tailwind.
I had the privilege yesterday, 14th of April, 2012 of accompanying the Greenhorn Mentorship Program team to a retreat at Brackenhurst, Limuru that brought together students and alumni of the University of Nairobi, School of Business to share in the program’s activities and growth. The trip was one I wish no one had missed because given how busy our lives are; getting opportunities to unwind whilst enjoying great company in a serene environment are few.
I have tremendous respect for the Greenhorn Mentorship Program 2012 executive team made up of Isaac Maina (President), Meli Solloh (Vice-President), Brigit Zesiro (Institutional Mentorship Director), Ian Kirubi (Finance Director), Claire Munene (Alumni Director), James Chomba (Information Systems Director), Samuel Calvin Ochieng (Mentor Affairs Director), Persila Owila (Mentee Affairs Director) and Patricia Mutindi (Editorial and Publicity Director). This team has shaped the program to become one that not only spearheads mentorship within the University of Nairobi, but one that redefines it.
Its Aspire Leadership Forum held on 26th March, 2012 at the University of Nairobi School of Business brought together speakers from all over African: Author and columnist Sunny Bindra, CEO and founder of Edge Consult Phyllis Mwangi, CEO East Africa Leadership Institute Pete Ondeng, Brand Building Director Unilever Central Africa Juliet Ziswa, Marketing Director (Africa Based) at Procter & Gamble Nuno Bernardo, Personal Branding Guru Derek Bbanga, Student Mentor Mercy Njoroge Advisor, ACCA Kenya to name but a few. The forum was one of the most impactive forums I have ever attended! The message throughout was clear; we all have leadership potential. All we have to do is understand it and tap into it!
During the group sit-down at the retreat in a gazebo amidst the greenery, the president of the program, Isaac Maina shared what I thought was brilliant, “When I sit across from my mentor, I see what I want to be at his age. At 35, I want to have gained his level of success, if not more”. He may have realized this or not but from where he sat, he had portrayed foresight, humility and most important of all the spirit of mentorship.
I have many mentors in my life. I also mentor many. This is because I choose to see my friends, younger and older, that way. Do the same, won’t you?
Have a blessed Sunday. 🙂