NSA members are known for their generosity. They give their time, advice and
concern. You can save yourself money
and heartache by learning from others
who have traveled the road you are
Several considerations when select-
ing a mentor include:
First, seek references. Talk to people
he/she has mentored. Identify the end
results of the relationship.
Second, do a gut check. Ask yourself, “What does my intuition tell me
about this person?” Sometimes people
who are in mentoring roles, such as
supervisors or teachers, are threatened
by your excellence and may sabotage
your success. If you sense this, move
away, fast. These people can do serious
damage to your self-esteem and to your
achieving your vision.
Third, create a support group or a
mastermind group to encourage you
in your new direction. A mastermind
group can be helpful especially if you
have not found a mentor. Members can
share their new ideas and they can give
you feedback on your plans.
Fourth, become your own cheering
squad, if you can’t create a mastermind.
By using positive self-talk, you can help
counteract those yakking little “devils.”
Finally, mentor others. As you
acquire knowledge and skills about
being successful, share them.
If you have a skilled and caring mentor,
listen to this person. We often say that
as speakers we tend to speak more and
better than we listen. This can be said
of most people. Have you witnessed
conversations in which people answer
questions that weren’t asked, ignore
data and feelings that were given, and
cut off each other mid-sentence?
Especially listen to clients. They will
tell you how you can please them, how
they will give you tons of money and
lots of speaking engagements. They will
tell you how to expand your topics and
You must be able to do two things to
develop excellent listening skills. First,
listen to the actual words spoken, and
second, listen for the implied meaning
including the context in which they are
used. All of this must be done without
thinking about your response before
the speaker has completed speaking.
Many outstanding corporations at the
height of their success realize that to
stay on top, they had to change what
made them successful. Former Toyota
president Iwao Isomura stated its
motto: “Our current success is the best
reason to change things.”
The business strategies and marketing
that made you successful in the 1990s
may not work today. It’s time to change.
The message in the movie
Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray,
is powerful. As an arrogant television weatherman, Murray experiences
an alternate universe in which every
morning he awakens to the same day he
experienced the previous day. Quickly,
he realizes that as much as he kicks,
screams, complains and moans about
change, the only thing worse than
change would be no change.
If people are unwilling to change, then
all the visualizing of success, finding a
mentor, and listening will be meaningless.