My husband and I had the opportunity to hear Norah O’Donnell, from CBS This Morning, speak at Arizona State University last week. During the Q & A portion of the evening, she was asked about her mentors early in her career. She spoke of Tim Russert. Mr. Russert served as the moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press before his death ten years ago. Ms. O’Donnell spoke of his leadership style. She praised him for being an “encourager” as a leader. He wanted everyone to do their job well because it made the entire “team” better. He led by praising and coaching.
Her words made me think of mentors in my own life, and those memories brought me joy. I thought of my early career. I remembered Carol arguing to hire this young kid straight out of college with no experience simply because she wanted to give me a chance. I remembered Paul’s feelings of skepticism about hiring me and telling me later that he never regretted it. I remembered teaming up with Steve as we worked on teaching materials for a course new to us. I remembered “pep talks” from Mike on rough days at work. They were my mentors, and I appreciated their guidance.
Years down the road . . . I’m still blessed today to work with a team of people who lift each other up when needed and want the best for each other. I think Mr. Russert and Ms. O’Donnell would fit in well.