“No Regrets”


Seven years ago I shared something with my then 12 year old daughter that my Dad said to me about my life when I was a kid growing up in Eastern Ohio.  He told me not to live my life with any regrets.  I remember that it was such a shock to me because he was typically a quiet guy that really taught me by his actions not his words.  I shared this with my daughter as she was entering her teenage years and shortly thereafter into high school.  I preached this to her in every aspect of her life such as her faith, family, education and athletics.  I’m sure she was tired of hearing this, especially as a teenager, but I believe life is too short not to give what you have every day and enjoy the results of all your hard work.

What does this have to do with Human Resources?  “Mentorship!”  I find myself preaching this same message to our staff today.  Not only are we Managers, Supervisors and Leaders, I find myself more of a Mentor today then I have at any point in my career.  I find this to be the most rewarding time of my career.  We, as H.R. Professionals, are a guiding force in the careers of our staff which I am honored to be a part of.  As my formula to be a great Mentor I am guided by three main points. 

First it starts by explaining to the individual why we hired them.  What was it that separated them from the other candidates and why we are confident with them on our team?  If you don’t do this now, I suggest that this would be a great conversation point to start with during your onboarding process.  This starts building their trust in the organization and in you as their Mentor.  Starting here shows that you are making their success a top priority for you which in turn gets you that proverbial “extra mile” from the team member. 

From here we lead them into their purpose within the organization.  What impact can they make?  Why are they here?   What is their Brand?  You may have the best employees in the world, but no one reads minds. Yet employers operate as if their employees know their purpose within the team.  Now ask yourself this, “How hard is it to get excited about your job if you aren’t quite sure if you are even needed at work?”  Communicate their purpose within the team!

Finally I inherently go back to what my Dad taught me.  Live with “No Regrets” in your life and specifically, in your career.  I stress the opportunities they have been given within their career and that effort is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter what background you come from, what school you attended, or the strengths and weaknesses you have, what matters is the effort you put into your career, and that is never truer than it is today. Today, effort can open the door for countless career opportunities for you.  Years ago I read something Pat Riley once said to one of his teams that has stuck in my mind and that was “give me one more percent today than you did yesterday, make today your best career performance.”  If you can get that from your team I believe your company will be nothing but successful.

I will close with this, you will have highs and lows in your career, but your effort is what will keep you moving forward. Don’t regret your effort.