January is National Mentoring Month, an annual mentoring campaign dedicated to celebrating and elevating the mentoring movement nationwide. What a perfect time to celebrate the importance of mentors in some of my mentoring moments.
I am a natural nurturer and have spent most of my career nurturing others. In the larger scheme of things, I feel that I have often served the role of a mentor, in both official roles and informally. In 2017, after I transitioned from my corporate role and became an entrepreneur, my “mentoring” role didn’t end. In fact, it blossomed and I have become a nurturer to many through Enhanced DNA: Develop, Nurture, Achieve, where the goal is to develop and nurture individuals and organizations so they can achieve their goals.
During National Mentoring Month, I thought I would share a few of my “mentoring moments” over the years – some more recent than others, but all impactful. The beauty of mentoring is that you take a little time to make a difference in someone’s life and you have a lifetime to see the benefit. Please, enjoy these “mentoring moments”.
Mentoring Moment #1
In 2019, I had the privilege of working with 14 remarkable women to create an amazing mentoring tool, an anthology titled, Mentoring Moments: 14 Remarkable Women Share Breakthroughs to Success. In this motivational self-help book, my vision was to provide a tool for women contemplating the direction they wanted their careers to go. For example, women in the workplace who were trying to decide whether they wanted to enter or leave corporate America, mid-career hires with little or no direction, and entrepreneurs who were ready to break out on their own. I wanted them to realize that if they had direction and support, they did not have to feel as though they were doing it alone. If others could succeed, so could they.
This book has been a great tool for women across the nation. One of the highlights for this book was receiving the recognition as Finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards sponsored by the American BookFest.
In addition, in February 2021, the audiobook was released and received the recognition as Finalist in the Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Award Contest in the Non-Fiction Audiobook category! I would say that this book is still making a difference in the lives of many!
Mentoring Moment #2
Early in 2019, I had the opportunity to become a mentor with the Pass the Torch for Women Foundation. Pass The Torch for Women Foundation was formed with a vision of a world where ALL women are equitably represented at all levels of leadership in business and government. The mission of the organization evolved to address the needs of women throughout their lifestyles and careers. As a mentor with the Legacy Leaders, I was able to develop a mentoring relationship with an experienced executive and through that relationship I have had the opportunity to learn from her probably as much as she has learned from me. As a result of this rewarding relationship, I decided that I was very passionate about this organization. So, in early 2020, I joined on as a member of the Board of Directors. I love the fact that women of all stages of their life and career can have the opportunity to benefit from mentors and I am proud to be one of the mentors making that difference.
Mentoring Moment #3
My most impactful mentoring moment was when I reconnected with a former colleague at a conference in which I was a speaker. We worked on the same team back when everybody was preparing for Y2K (a huge IT project for the business-related changes needed to flip to the year 2000). At this conference, we got reacquainted and she made a point to thank me for everything I did for her as a new hire and in her first corporate position. She said that I made such an impact on her both personally and in her career, and that I helped her adjust to a new city as well as the organization. I never knew that I had that kind of impact and it was very touching to hear that from a former teammate. She is now a wife, mother and a very successful leader in a different company. Lesson: You can be a mentor without even knowing it!
Denola M. Burton is the Founder and CEO of Enhanced DNA: Develop Nurture Achieve, LLC and Enhanced DNA Publishing. Through Enhanced DNA, Denola develops and nurtures individuals and organizations to achieve their Leadership, Communication and Performance goals and objectives. Denola is also an author and publisher and through Enhanced DNA Publishing, assists new and newer authors in publishing their books according to the Independent Book Publishing Association (IBPA) standards. Denola retired from Eli Lilly and Company after 27 years where the majority of her career was focused on Employee Relations/Human Resources. You can connect with Denola on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIN and Twitter at Enhanced DNA or send a message to DenolaBurton@EnhancedDNA1.com.