Most companies around the globe clearly believe that people should have the opportunity to achieve as much as their initiative and native talent can justify, but too many managers still lack the wherewithal to effectively groom junior employees who have the potential to climb the corporate ladder. The support of a mentor is an integral part of any effort to maximize someone’s full potential. A mentor-protégé relationship has many unique features, which both sides of the relationship need to understand and appreciate. Serving in the role of mentor involves providing highly individualized guidance from someone with the appropriate background, life, and work experiences and, importantly, an avid interest in helping others reach their life and career goals.
Stephen E. Kohn is president of Work & People Solutions, specializing in executive coaching, management training, and organizational development. He works one-on-one with managers and executives at many leading corporate organizations, including Ernst & Young, DuPont, the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, and BMW USA. He also delivers a variety of specialized training for new managers, focusing on methods for transitioning to a role requiring sound approaches to people empowerment and more senior-level leadership. Kohn works out of White Plains, New York.
Vincent D. O’Connell is president of B-SOLID Coaching and Training, a McLean, Virginia–based training and consulting firm focused on improving leadership, account relationship management, and teamwork skills within organizations. O’Connell served in executive positions in marketing at various hospitals, and he was a consultant for the Hay Group and Buck Consultants. A graduate of Brown University, he did his graduate work in human resources management at Cornell University. O’Connell has authored numerous articles for professional journals and coauthored five books with Kohn.