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Where Have All the Mentors Gone?

In the world of nonprofits, or my preferred term: public benefit organizations, mentoring comes at a premium. In the very small shop, there are not many people around to either serve as a mentor or to be mentored. So i hope board members will take cognizance of this, and in collaboration with the executive director, work out a way to connect with young/new staff so they have someone to help them through the puckerbrush. And, more importantly, get their career off on the right foot. In the Sunday business section of the NY Times, Adam Bryant interviews Ilene Gordon, CEO of Ingredion. Title of the piece in the March 17, 2013 edition of Openers: “When I Hire You, I’m Hiring Your Mentor’s Judgment.” Now there’s something to chew on a bit. And in the nonprofit realm, particularly if the board and CEO are rather long in the tooth and not thinking productively about leadership succession, neither the nonprofit nor the young staff are getting their due. Here, by the bye, is the link: Sorry I couldn’t activate this from Twitter: It goes to a Chinese site, for some peculiar reason. Ms Gordon makes it a point each year to invite a group of young up-and-comer staff to a board dinner to get a chance to present what they are doing to advance the company, bring value to it. An area worthy of some thought and discussion for any nonprofit interested in developing its capacity for the long term.

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