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Relationship Building: Walking the Talk Step by Step

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your mentoring relationships. Reading time: 2:04.

             Walking along the beach, I followed in the footprints of a previous beachcomber.

             Those footprints got me to thinking about the Footprints poem of Margaret Fishback that Hallmark Cards acquired and popularized.

               In addition to the obvious spiritual and religious connotation, the poem also sets the stage to salute the merits of developing, designing and nurturing an on-going meaningful and relevant mentoring relationship.

             As you take your mentoring relationships to the next level of trust and understanding consider this adaptation of the  Footprints  poem:

Mentoring Footprints In the Sand

            I had a dream that I was walking along the beach toward a major presentation I was supposed to make. I sensed my mentor was walking with me although I did not see him.

            I only saw two sets of footprints in the sand. But as I got to my meeting to make this major presentation, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints.

            I felt abandoned at the very time I needed my mentor. I was forced to give my presentation without my mentor. I was frustrated, angry I’m not sure what I was feeling but it wasn’t good.

             I confronted my mentor. I said: “You told me when I decided to follow you, you would walk and talk with me all the way. But when I needed you most, just at the time of my presentation you left me.”

           The leader whispered: “When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

               Effective leaders carry others into the limelight without getting carried away in their own spotlight. And in the process, effective leaders leave behind an imprint deeper than any footprint .

Today’s ImproveMINT

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