Thank your Mentors

This is a PSA. Make a list of your mentors. The people who took chances on you. The people who saw something in you that you didn’t necessarily see in yourself. The people who gave you the big breaks.

Call them. Text them. Email them. Don’t wait. Tell them plainly, directly, what they meant to you. How they altered your trajectory. Or you’ll wonder if they knew. You’ll wonder if you could have said it better. Don’t count on having years to do it. Trust me on this.

I just found out I lost another one. I’ll compose a lovely tribute on social media, and people may read it. They may be moved. But it won’t matter in the same way it would have mattered if I’d said it in time.

I have the privilege to do what I do thanks to a few people who believed in me at critical junctures. I earned those breaks. But someone still had to be on the other side of the door. So don’t wait.

Bonnie Ford on Twitter, Sep 4, 2020

The photo above is of Ed Percival. The page on my site for you to look at and see if we may be a fit for me to support you as a leader is called #BeMoreYou in homage to Ed’s radically concise maxim, the distillation of his 50+ years of coaching. Ed was taken from us suddenly on June 25th, 2015. I think of him every day and reference him and his wisdom almost as often with others. I was lucky, Ed knew how much he meant to me, I had told him often before his sudden passing.

The note above is from one of the most respected sports journalists I know, Bonnie Ford. I have never met Bonnie, but followed her from afar as one of the sports she knows deeply is pro cycling, a sport I was involved with around a decade ago. Bonnie herself, I am sure, is a mentor to many, which makes her thoughts on Twitter the other day even more powerful.

As for me, I have had a number of mentors throughout my life, some of whom I haven’t taken the opportunity to thank in the way Bonnie strongly recommends. Whilst I absolutely hope they are all with us for decades to come, I will take time to call them all in the next week or so and thank them expressly for what they mean and have meant to me.

Also published on Medium.