03 Apr 2011 02:25 | Deleted user

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“The Mentor”. Leading by example and ethic
by Susan W.E.N., NGO representative

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel – Maya Angelou

When I started working I was a strong shy type. Strong because I knew I could do it, shy because I needed a nudge and some encouragement to see I could fly. I had a boss who took the time to see my potential, support me and guide me. She taught me how to be professional, reminded me that my personal values define who I am at all times – you don’t leave them outside when you walk into your work place and pick them up when you walk out, and she reinforced in me that your word is your honour. She showed that everyone in any level of any organisation deserves respect, that no work or task is above or below me. She did all this by living and practicing it every day.
I worked in a team of people that worked well together – we didn’t necessarily like each other but we respected each other. That was the culture that my Mentor brought to all of us. It took leaving that team and working in different teams to realise how much time, effort and openness of character it took for her to be that kind of person. 

There are tons of books about leadership – true leadership – sometimes they call it servant leadership. Doesn’t really matter what you call it. If I could try and define what it is I learned from my Mentor’s leadership – it’s bringing out the best of someone as a human being, then the professional stuff; after the humanness that comes anyway.

So now when I find myself in her situation – working with people that I supervise,  I realize that I have EXTREMELY big shoes to fill. But when I think about how much my mentor gave to me towards helping me become me, I put my feet in those big shoes, cross my fingers and strive to give the best of me to others to bring out the best in them. The thing is, helping others to be the best that they can be, helps me be better too. I don’t and won’t always succeed but I won’t stop striving either.


 Mother Theresa Tree Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person – Mother Theresa 


Susan W.E.N., NGO representative, has worked in the corporate sector in Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) and communications in Europe, Asia and emerging markets regions for about 10 years. Today, she continues to work in CSR as part of an NGO organization based in Brussels.

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