The Power of Mentorship with Gerald J. Leonard, Musician, Author and CEO
Mentorship is crucial in personal and professional growth, providing valuable guidance and insights from experienced individuals. In this episode, host Jenn DeWall welcomes back author, CEO and musician Gerald J. Leonard to The Leadership Habit. Gerald is a PMP, PFMP, and CIQ Coach, in addition to being the CEO and founder of the Leonard Productivity Intelligence Institute and the CEO of Principles of Execution, LLC.
Gerald is also a published author and joins the podcast to announce his latest upcoming book will be released in August: A Symphony of Choices: How Mentorship Taught a Manager Decision-Making, Project Management and Workplace Engagement — and Saved a Concert Season.
As the episode opens, Jenn and Gerald catch up about the last year since he was previously a guest on the podcast. They discuss his inspiration for the latest book and the power of mentorship.
Lessons from Ted Lasso
As they discuss the value of storytelling when it comes to educating future leaders, Gerald references the popular show “Ted Lasso” and its potential to offer insights into mentorship. Gerald explains that mentors can provide a framework for growth and help mentees understand complex concepts in manageable portions. The main character in Gerald’s book, “A Symphony of Choices,” learns from a mentor named Dr. Richardson, who imparts wisdom gained from years of teaching and consulting for major organizations.
The Mentor-Mentee Relationship
Gerald highlights the importance of building a mentoring relationship based on trust and open communication. He emphasizes the iterative nature of the relationship, where mentees share what they have learned and discuss their decisions with their mentors. Mentors guide mentees through their career development, enabling them to make better decisions and engage other executives effectively. A mentor with years of experience, skills and knowledge can offer advice that compliments learning and development programs.
The Benefits of Mentorship
Drawing from his own company’s experience, Gerald emphasizes how formal mentorship programs lead to the development of exceptional consultants and advocates. Mentoring relationships provide real-world expertise and remove obstacles to growth and development. Like experienced tour guides, mentors offer invaluable insights and help individuals navigate challenges more effectively.
The Hesitation to Seek Mentoring
Jenn and Gerald discuss the reasons why some people hesitate to seek mentorship. They suggest that societal perceptions often associate seeking help with weakness, and words like “coaching” and “mentoring” might be misunderstood or carry negative connotations. However, successful individuals across various fields, including sports, rely on coaches and mentors to improve their performance and reach their career goals.
Rethinking Independence and Embracing Interdependence
Jenn shares a personal anecdote about her initial resistance to the concept of interdependence, believing that independence was the key to success. However, as she matured in her career path, she recognized the value of learning from others, whether it be students, colleagues, or family members. Gerald echoes this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of being open to learning from those around us. Mentoring programs are essential to professional development and crucial to creating positive outcomes.
Mentorship is a powerful tool for personal and professional growth, exemplified by Gerald’s insights. This episode highlights the transformative impact of mentors in decision-making, leadership, teamwork, and culture. It encourages individuals to shed the stigma of seeking help and embrace the opportunities mentorship provides for continuous improvement and success. By recognizing the value of interdependence and learning from others, we can unlock our full potential and thrive in our personal and professional lives.
Where to Find More from Gerald J Leonard
Gerald has generously created a special offer for listeners of The Leadership Habit. Please visit: https://productivityintelligenceinstitute.com/tlh/ to find a companion guide for his upcoming book: A Symphony of Choices: How Mentorship Taught a Manager Decision-Making, Project Management and Workplace Engagement — and Saved a Concert Season.
The companion guide will provide six critical aspects of managing a project or goal based on Gerald’s 25 years of experience managing goals and projects for major organizations, from the national archives to multi-billion dollar corporations.