On the 1st of May Robert Hruzek started his group writing project "What I learned from______(Du'oh! and don't forget to fill in the blank! - No Mr Bob, we won't) and kicked the project off himself with what he learned from a light-switch. I've been invited to contribute my own little piece and hopefully am JIT (just in time - been a bit busy this week).
So, ok, my mentors. I'm very fortunate to have met two of the most kindest persons you can imagine in times I was, well to put it bluntly, out of my debt. With hindsight they are very much alike also: both have an accountancy background, but both 'specialise' (excel) in consultancy roles, both are those special kind of persons you feel comfortable with straight away- knowing at once they have that unique integrity you so rarely meet - and both are 'quiet' givers.
Givers of knowledge, givers of sharing their own experiences, givers of trust.
I met Jos over 18 years ago when he was appointed as outside IT-consultant in the company I worked for to get the software (and hardware) up to scratch. My job (non-management) had a lot to do with the computer (I even remember those big, noisy mainframes beginning 80's - and I even still know some MSDos). My manager (old boys club) wasn't having any of it and that didn't make things easier to 'upgrade' and 'update'.
Jos made sure my experiences of the old ways and ideas for new ways were taken into account (and bless him, not even taking the 'credits' for it himself).
When we moved to the UK and our first 'venture' went absolutely pear shaped (wrong stubborn partners) we got stuck (and that's just for starters: money lost, confidence lost, jobs lost, future lost?). We didn't know where to turn, what to do, how to 'survive'.
Then there was Richard C. Accountant, business consultant, BNI Ashford member, quiet friend, quiet listener, quiet guide to a new future. He taught me to believe in myself again by showing (drawing it out even on 2 A4's) what we had done so far; that the failure of the first business wasn't something we had caused - on the contrary he even now keeps insisting, we had kept it going for so much longer than thought possible; we still had our specific knowledge, skills and talents, those weren't lost.
In short: a shoulder to cry on, a hankie given, a pat on the back received and then upwards and onwards with bright, splendid, simple, bold, workable and achievable ideas.
I owe both men a lot. What I learned most from them was believe and trust in myself - they did and do.
And if they (who I both respect so very much) did and do, how could/can I not do the same?
Not doing so would be a betrayal of everything they have given and still give me.