Chances are you’ve heard the saying, “No man, or woman, is an island.” It rings true because there isn’t anyone who has achieved success alone. We all need help to grow, learn, and become.

Think back to your younger self before you became who you are now. Before all the choices you’ve made. Before all the people who cared about you along the way. Before all the people who helped you and who believed in you before you believed in yourself.  What if they didn’t?

Mentors are people who step up to share their knowledge and experience to help another person move forward.  Think about all the mentors who shaped you – parents, teachers, coaches, friends, business associates, spiritual leaders, industry leaders, and fellow Farm Bureau members. Look around, and it’s clear to see there are many opportunities for you to serve as a mentor. Service is at the core of good leadership.

Farm Bureau provides a great space to take people under your wing. When I first started at Utah Farm Bureau, Sterling Brown was a valued mentor to me.  He took me to County Farm Bureau board meetings. He took me to the legislature. He took me out to farms to meet with farmers and ranchers. He gave me a 1,000-foot view of the organization, but he also provided a close-up view of the Farm Bureau. He made a place for me at the table. Sterling modeled a strong work ethic. He listened to my ideas and honored my initiative. He asked me guiding questions and valued what I had to say. Sterling was open to innovative thought and quick to give credit where credit was due. He made time for me. He provided constructive feedback and thoughtful compliments that praised specific actions and attributes. He had high standards and expectations that were clearly modeled and communicated. His love and enthusiasm for the work of Farm Bureau was contagious. Sterling Brown’s mentorship has been fundamental to my career at Farm Bureau.

In my experience, the Farm Bureau is full of “good people” and mentorship is all about “good people” having the right “good people” around them. Farm Bureau provides a place where “good people” can form deep connections and lifetime friendships.

With a mentoring mindset, your eyes will be open to opportunities to grow new friendships and make a real difference in your life, the lives of those you mentor, and the Farm Bureau organization. 

Dag Hammarskjold, the late secretary-general of the United Nations was asked at the end of his career what he had learned about dealing with people. He said, “It takes more nobility of character to make a difference in the life of one person than to work to save the masses.” To be a mentor reveals the best of ourselves.

Who is waiting for you to make that difference?