Mentoring can change lives

Marci Malzahn
Marci Malzahn (Photo by Ackerman + Gruber 2018)

I believe in mentoring. It changes people’s lives. You want to make a difference? You want to impact someone’s life? You want to leave a legacy? Mentor someone.

I am not a formal mentor or mentee but I have mentors that, throughout my life helped me in my personal life, spiritual life and in my career. I have also mentored 18 young adults during high school, their college years and while entering the workforce. I helped them with interviewing skills, preparing their resumes, negotiating salaries, getting promotions, connecting them to potential employers and coaching them through work situations once employed. I also mentored “grownups” when going through transitions at work or switching careers. The little help I provided impacted their lives positively.

My mentors helped me get through transitions in my own life, including launching my own consulting firm, Malzahn Strategic, four years ago. I encourage you to look for a mentor, someone who can help you become all you can be. Seek for a mentor who wants to share his or her life experiences with you, a person who is willing to share mistakes as well as the successes.

Mentoring is powerful. That’s why I volunteered to be on the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities (BBBSGTC) for several years. I served in the finance committee, executive committee, and lastly as the board chair for two years.

Mentoring youth impacts their lives in various aspects. Based on a national survey conducted by Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2009 with their Littles:

  • 97 percent of Littles said working hard in school is very important,
  • 95 percent of Littles said going to school and getting a good education is very important, and
  • 94 percent of Littles said graduation from college is very important.

In addition, among former Littles who had a mentor (Big):

  • 77 percent said they are doing better in school because of their Big,
  • 65 percent agreed their Big helped them reach a higher level of education that they thought possible, and
  • 52 percent agreed their Big kept them from dropping out of high school.

There are opportunities to get involved and make a lifetime impact in a young person’s life through organizations such as BBBS. Become a Big and mentor a girl or boy. If you don’t have the time to be in a formal mentoring program, then do it informally. But mentor someone! It is the best way to give back to the younger generation and to pass on your wisdom. Mentoring is a way to show the young men and women that they are valuable and that they too can make a difference in the world.

As leaders, we need to impart in the younger generation what we learned during our lives and help them prepare to succeed in the working environment. I challenge you to take the initiative to mentor a young girl or young adult and enjoy the journey of seeing a life being transformed right in front of your eyes.

Marci Malzahn is a professional speaker and president/founder of Malzahn Strategic, a community bank consultancy focused on strategic planning, enterprise risk management and talent management.

Learn more about mentoring from Marci by joining a BankBeatGroups webinar on June 21, at 12:10 p.m.. It’s FREE. For more information and to register, please visit the BankBeatGroups website.