Friday, April 1, 2011

Mentoring: The Gift of Knowledge

When we are open minded, and are fortunate to possess a certain level of personal awareness, life provides us with a constant flow of learning experiences. It can be as powerful as an epiphany or as subtle as a coincidence; it can come from formal training or from a simple event. Many of these learning experiences include an interaction with another human being. We have teachers, coaches, bosses, parents, friends, and even strangers gift us knowledge. At almost every turn in our journey, life is full of interpersonal learning on all levels.

Rarely, and sometimes never, we get lucky and find a true mentor. I define mentoring as a natural, personal relationship with a more experienced, wiser individual that transfers knowledge informally over a period of time. This wise man/woman called “Mentor” has no personal agenda other than to promote the development of their protégé or mentee. When this student/teacher relationship happens naturally, it is magic…It is a gift from the heavens.

Most people never experience true mentoring. It is one of the more elusive “Secrets of Life”. The ideal mentor/mentee relationship begins subtly, almost accidentally, and over time gradually ends that way as well. It is difficult to search out but is almost sure never to happen if you are not open and looking to learn from someone who has knowledge you desire. My simplest explanation is “It is a chemistry-energy thing”. You find yourself attracted to an individual you admire.

In most mentor/mentee relationships it is an older individual sharing with a younger protégé. But in my personal journey I have had two mentors that were a few years younger than me, three mentors that were much older and one special friendship that started out as me mentoring someone 15 years younger and ended upside down with my mentee becoming my mentor. All of these wonderful learning experiences have provided me quantum leaps of personal growth. When the stars align, a true mentor provides short cuts to life’s success thru knowledge transfer.

One of my late mentors, Lenny Zakim, was also one of my hero’s. He taught me to always be over-prepared, to be laser focused on a clear vision, to create and demand the highest standards of achievement, but most important of all… to make a positive difference in the lives I touch. The most amazing dimension about this special hero, mentor, and friendship was how much fun we had together. As demanding as Lenny was about everything he did and expected from everyone around him, he was equally as passionate about every friendship and mission that encompassed his life.

Mentoring is a pure, no strings attached gift to the receiver and a privileged opportunity for the giver. Life’s path is powerfully altered by the kindness and wisdom of mentoring. Look… but not too forcibly, and you may find your mentor or possibly your mentee.

Does anyone wish to share their experience with mentoring?


  1. Glenn,
    When I was a jewelry student in college I read about Jose Hess shifting his business model from 'Flaircraft' to 'Jose Hess'. He was creating innovative designs and branding himself and I thought to myself "that's who I want to be" and set out to do it.
    At a De Beers award event for Diamonds Today winners I remember Jose sitting behind me and cheering 'Bravo!' when my winning piece was shown on the big screen. I still tear up when I think of that pivotal moment in my young career. Since that time Jose has become a friend and mentor, generous with his time and experience in guiding me to success.
    Now that I have achieved my "Jose Hess' dream I have had the pleasure of regularly assisting aspiring jewelry artists at GIA Career Fairs.
    Mentoring inspires consciousness for the mentor; teaching and sharing with others solidifies one's expertise and vision into the realm of reality. It galvanizes all the experience, knowledge and inspiration of the mentor into a single vision.

  2. Thank you for this thoughtful comment...You have experienced exactly the mentoring relationship that I am talking about and it is very special.

  3. PK, I would also like to let you know that Hearts On Fire is looking for new designers as we add new collections to our line...Please contact my assistant, Ivy, at if you would like to learn more about this opportunity.

  4. Hi Glenn!
    You are amazingly inspirational. I live, breath, and sleep for HOF and have brainwashed my two little daughters to love HOF as much as I do. I hope that one day I can inspire them to be great at whatever they're passionate about.
    On a side note, I noticed your comment to PK. You have such amazing talent in your own backyard: your HOF family. This would be the first place I would look for new design talent. We have brought up the idea before about a "Contest" to seek out new designs / designers from the HOF family. Something to consider!
    -Teresa (Troy Shoppe Jewellers)

  5. Teresa,
    Thank you for being such a strong advocate for our precious Brand. It sounds like you will do an extraordianary job at instilling passion in your daughters.
    I have forwarded your great idea about a design contest to our Executive Vice President who oversees design.
    Take care,