The value of a mentor is invaluable to ones career success. Whether it be a family member, coach, teacher, fellow colleague or boss, many great success stories give praise to the people who played a major role in helping them reach their full potential.
The following are leading executives who made Black Enterprise’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America list, and their insights on the role mentorship has played in their career.
Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO of Chase Auto Finance:
“When I think about mentorship I take on a much broader definition in terms of how I look at it. For me, I learn from everybody,” says Brown Duckett. “My team mentors me. The people who are doing the work mentor me. Clearly, my peers and my colleagues mentor me. It’s important because to be a leader, it’s not just about getting that next job, it’s also about surrounding yourself with people who can help you excel in your current job.”
In addition to mentorship, Brown Duckett also says that advocacy and sponsorship is important when navigating throughout your career.
“You want people to be compelled to talk about you. You want people to know you, know your performance and what you represent so when opportunities come along, or when people hear about a business problem, they’re thinking about you because they know who you are and they can advocate on your behalf.”
Brown Duckett says that her colleagues Kevin Watters and Gordon Smith have been not only mentors to her, but also advocates and sponsors.