Mentors and Role Models

Father’s Day – A great day to say thank you to all the great Dad’s out there… but in the workplace- this Hallmark holiday means so much more.

Perhaps a teacher- former boss or trainer taught you the ropes? Maybe some words of wisdom were imparted and stuck with you forever? It’s important to take a step back and highlight those amazing people who have helped shape who we have become as colleagues- leaders- and mentors of our own. Here are some stories about father-figures and mentors that are sure to give you the warm and fuzzies during this auspicious weekend:


“My first father-figure was a she, she was my high school music teacher. I was very rebellious growing up, my parents weren’t really around and I didn’t have much focus during my teen years, all I wanted to do was play guitar and skip classes with my garageband. The only class I did go to was my music class because I got to play guitar and it didn’t feel like a regular class. This teacher would also book us gigs here and there at local restaurants, which was an amazing experience for a young person. When this teacher found out I was failing almost every subject- she took me aside and told me I had to straighten out or she would kick me out of the group and would not book us any more shows- I was traumatized. It was the first time I was ever given any sort of ultimatum and told to make an important choice about my own life. Surprisingly, I didn’t resist and I busted my butt to pass all of my classes. Today, as a business owner and mentor myself, no one would ever peg me for a lazy and irresponsible student, but that one person impacted my life so much. I am forever grateful to her.” – Luis, Business owner, IT and Tech, Toronto


“It may seem cheesy, but my grandfather was a really amazing influence in my life. He was always there, weekends at the cabin, came to all my softball games, everything! Gramps was never much of a talker but- when he did say things- they were usually very deep and full of wisdom. We used to fish for hours during summertime on the lake- in complete silence, our “man to man bonding time” he would call it. This one time, out of the blue he asked me “Max my boy, how do you treat people?”, I was about 10 years old and did not really know exactly WHAT he was asking me so I kind of muttered…”ummm…nicely I guess?”. He looked at me and said “That’s right my boy!- with a huge smile- you always treat others with the same respect you would like them to give you”. I didn’t really know why he told me that, or what was going through his mind exactly on that day, but I do know that I never forgot what he said and live by those words, my team can vouch for it! –Maxime , Executive Team leader- Food and Beverage – Montreal


“I have a really interesting take on mentoring, as I was once taught an awesome lesson by one of my temps. I was always a bit of a workaholic- especially in my late twenties, when all I could think about was proving to everyone that I was going to make something of myself. I was so focused on being the most successful- up to date and in advance, I would sometimes stay until 10 pm at the office, unpaid, to get weeks ahead in my files. Our temp program partnered us up with recent Marketing grads who basically became our office gophers- I was partnered with Tim. One Friday night- it was maybe around 8:30 pm and Tim and I were working on a file. Out of nowhere- mid-sentence- he got up and started packing up his things. I was baffled and said “Tim, what are you doing?” and he looked at me, chuckled and said -”It’s Friday night- I’m going out with friends. I have a life you know, you should get one too”. I was in shock at his audacity to speak to me that way- his supervisor and superior! No one had ever said anything like that to me before and I couldn’t tell if I was upset at his rude comment or shocked that he might be right. Over that weekend- I booked myself a 2 week all inclusive vacation and called friends I hadn’t spoken to in years- it was a wake up call. Let’s just say there’s a “no one in the office after 6” rule now. Thanks Tim. –Maria , Head of Marketing and Graphic Design, Consumer Goods Company- British Columbia

Has anyone ever been an amazing mentor or father-figure to you? Take the time to thank them this Father’s Day for everything they have taught you!


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