Get and Make a Living: [Insert Reward]. Give and Make a Life: Priceless

Churchill_thumb “We Make a Living By What We Get, We Make a Life By What We Give.”

The Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965)

I am looking forward to my first foray this evening with the Northwestern University Alumni Association Council of One Hundred, a women’s mentoring organization whose members are willing to share their knowledge and experience to enrich the lives of Northwestern’s undergraduate and graduate women students, and young alumnae.

Funny thing is…I always find that I walk away from such events (group or one-on-one coaching) having received MUCH more than I perceive I have given. If you have the chance to connect with someone – young or old – as s/he wanders along a professional or personal shift, I highly recommend it. Everyone wins, really.


Prerequisite: Do the ‘What to Ask the Person in the Mirror’ exercise that I noted on Monday 🙂

1. Reflect for one minute on someone* in your life that may need mentoring, which John C. Crosby so eloquently describes as “…a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” Create an opportunity to be that brain, ear, push.  

2. If you would prefer a more formal, structured approach, many businesses, associations, faith-based organizations, universities, governments, websites, etc. have mentoring programs or materials already. Check out these resources and see what works best for you.

3. You can always contact me if you are stuck. Mentoring is a significant part of my vocation and avocation, and I couldn’t feel more fortunate.

* Caveat and lesson learned: you will need to determine if this person wants to be – or is capable of being – mentored. Otherwise, your wonderful energy, ideas and time will be underutilized. More on the ‘capable’ topic in an upcoming post. I will offer ways to spot the uncoachables.

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Sandra Schwan

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