Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

You have achieved a formal education in project management, and maybe you have even achieved certification status as a PMP®. Yet you feel like something is missing in your growth and career advancement. If this sounds like you, maybe it’s time to find a mentor—that experienced person who will take a special interest in your growth as a project manager. It’s someone you admire, respect and—most importantly—feel a special connection with. But how do you find the right person? Where do you find a seasoned project manager who will guide you, hone you and help shape your aspirations—a true and lasting mentor?

In my experience, finding a mentor is not easy; it’s actually quite rare. Sure, you can find advisors, trainers and coaches from whom you can learn things, but true mentors are different. First, they get you. They take the time to understand what makes you tick, what motivates you, what works with you. They know when to challenge you, when to carry you, when to push and when to back off. There is a bond, a chemistry that forms—one that usually lasts a lifetime. And while you love spending time together, they can be an endless source of frustration—especially when they make you discover and earn the answers and wisdom that you are sure they could just tell you about.

Looking back over my 40 years of doing projects, …

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"The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible."

- Albert Einstein

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