Do You have Mentor?

Do You have Mentor?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a mentor as a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.

I'd like to introduce you to one of my mentors Jim Pullin, CAS. I met Jim over 30 years ago when he hired me to work as a Sales Associate at KB Toys in Mentor, OH. Early on, I discovered that Jim was a different type of manager. Yes, he was focused on the store's sales, but he was more focused on developing people.

My original mindset was this was a job to earn extra money while I attended the local community college. My job was to be a cashier, stock shelves, and offer great customer service. Jim saw things differently.

He shared with everyone that worked for him, that his goal was to be judged by the people he promoted, not his sales. His goal was for everyone who worked for him to become a store manager. He treated many of us as management trainees, not sales associates.

Jim was great to work for and when I left the store after graduating college, he always kept in touch to see how I was doing. A few years later, he found me working at DICK'S Sporting Goods. I was about to enter a training program for aspiring department managers when he asked me if I'd like to be a store manager. "Why be a trainee when you can have your own store," was his comment to me.

At 23 years old I was being offered the opportunity to run my own store. As the acting District Manager for KB Toys, he was offering me an opportunity to prove my leadership skills by taking over the worst store in the state of Ohio. Talk about confidence in the people you trained. The corporate office wasn't as confident in his choice.

I accepted and realized that every one Jim spoke to about becoming a store manager was offered that opportunity. Being competitive, I set out to show the corporate office that Jim knew what he was doing and I wanted to show my Mentor that I could be just as good if not better than his store.

I received several sales and management awards that year and came in #2 in the district for sales, just behind Jim's store. To be honest, I applied many of the training and sales techniques Jim taught me. Eventually, I left KB Toys to pursue other career opportunities.

Being a great mentor, Jim kept in touch with me. I could count out a phone call at random points of the year to see how I was doing and occasionally offer me another job opportunity. It's great when you have someone who trusts you.

When I became a Professional Speaker, I began sharing many of the principles Jim taught me about leadership and growing your team with my audiences. Whenever I mentioned his name, I would usually get a call or text from him within a week. Always keeping tabs on me.

Recently Jim reached out to me to let me know he'd be attending a conference I was keynoting. It was our first time seeing each other in over 20 years.

Do you have someone in your life who sees your potential and invests in your growth and performance? I do! Thank you, Jim!

Recent responses

Like This Post? Share with your Friends!

Ready to Book?

Click Here or Call (480) 405-7658

  • National Speakers Association
  • Certified eSpeaker Virtual Presenter