myself, "How does she do it...she travels all of the time...she has a family...she works late - I just don't get it!" When I looked at her, I saw the kind of person I wanted to be – a woman managing a demanding career yet not sacrificing my health.
One day, we met after work to catch up. I told her how great she looked and said, "You are too fine and looking phenomenal...what are you doing?" She responded "Yes, I had to do something. My closet was screaming and crying!"
She then talked with me about the research that she had done on a lifestyle change of food. We discussed how she learned to understand what foods worked best for her lifestyle and her body. She shared with me about how she works through this process, even when she is on the road. I was truly inspired!
After this conversation, I was armed with the right information to learn more about how I could improve my own health. I learned that I am allergic to carbohydrates and have a greater need for protein. I was able to learn this by reading books about my blood type working with my doctor to fine tune my plan. The program I chose, through a local facility called "Quick Weight Loss", helped me balance fruit, vegetables and protein in the right proportions to lose the weight and improve my health.
It’s worth noting that I didn't specifically ask my colleague to become my mentor. Instead, I approached it as an informal mentoring opportunity to learn more about the aspects of wellness in a busy career. Though it was not a formal mentoring relationship, I took the time to let her know what I needed and we continued our conversation through the entire journey.
In the true spirit of mentoring, I had an incredible opportunity to pay forward the success I had through this relationship. I met an executive woman who said, "Wow, you look great, how did you do it"? Just as my friend had done with me, I took the time to explain to her the process that I went through. I also offered to be there and support her through her journey. I sent her weekly motivational messages to support her and help keep her positive and encouraged. Our relationship soon took on another dimension when she began to deal with the emotional side of weight loss. I could definitely relate to what she was experiencing when people treated her differently and looked at her in another light. Though it was an informal mentoring relationship, we met every few weeks to discuss ideas, thoughts and feelings about both of our journeys.
Being both a “mentee” and a “mentor” was a very powerful and positive experience for me. When my mentor taught me new life skills to lead the kind of life I wanted, I had no idea that I’d have the opportunity to share that life-altering knowledge with another so soon. I was reminded that when I seek informed advice or insights from another, the work doesn't stop there. Many times, there are next steps – including sharing what I have learned with others.
If the mentoring journey begins with a desire to learn from another, it continues by sharing that knowledge with others. As they say, "There is no such thing as a free lunch". We have to pay it forward by sharing our own knowledge when the opportunity presents itself, and sometimes being a mentor will teach us as much as being the mentee.
Vicki Hamilton acknowledged as a” visionary leader” and described as “profound and intelligent”. She comes up with new IT strategies to take care of old workplace problems. A senior-level executive with over 20 years of technology experience, she has served most recently as Chief Information Officer and SVP.
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is the ability to share knowledge or insight with another person, and also the willingness to share what you learn with others.
Everyone is blessed with a talent, and everyone has an area of expertise or specialisation that they can share informed advice about. This is why we should look at mentoring from a 360 degree perspective: how we can give and receive mentoring, as well as the many areas of our lives that mentoring can enhance: health, family, career, spirituality or friendship.
Some think of mentoring strictly in terms of their career, yet one of my most profound mentoring experiences was centred on my health. The circumstances of mentoring are the same – identifying an individual to offer insight and informed advice – even if the subject is how to be healthy. This mentoring experience started much the same way – I sought out a person who could understand the dynamics in my life and with whom I could have a connection, someone who could grasp my struggles and relate to my journey! About three years ago, I was struggling with an important area of my health; I was 72 pounds (32 kg) heavier than I am today. I noticed that one of my peers, an executive woman I worked with, had lost weight and seemed to be in great health. I kept asking