WORTH KNOWING: Alchemist & Mentor
Who She Is
Rays of warmth float across the air from Black Eyes, the one who is listening, to me, the one who is talking. Black Eyes speaks her words in Latin rhythms. She is
My first mentor
Lisa mines with her eyes, polishes her discoveries, and makes them shine. Her special formula?
She, the alchemist, works with ingredients of seeing, listening, appreciating, investing, taking risks, and providing opportunities.
What She Gives
Lisa is building organizational development capacity in manufacturing. She approves my graduate studies at American University to help with this effort. I immerse myself, learn, return, share and practice. It is a natural fit. She, the alchemist, knew it would be so, try as she did to steer me towards an MBA.
Several years later, the company experiments with self-managed teams building whole products instead of doing repeated piece work. Teams of technicians build the whole computer, learn each other’s skills, reduce errors and communicate directly with the customer who receives the fruits of their labor.
We, the consultants, suggest we too should run as a self-managed team. Lisa agrees. We became managers. It is a rich learning experiences and forever bonds are formed.
Reorganizations lead to the end of the team. We each move on to manage other teams and functions in the company - Engineering, Customer Service and more.
I am pregnant. Lisa plans and hosts a baby shower. How do I convey the depth with which her caring and generosity touch me. It is not a familiar feeling. My appreciation goes beyond what words can express.
Paying it Forward
Years go by. There are women’s leadership conferences. A second child for Lisa. I leave the company and begin my doctoral studies. The company is sold. Lisa works for the new company and then the next new company after that. I complete my doctorate. I become founder and president of Germane Consulting.
We stay in touch, although sometimes years go by without a call or a lunch date.
Lisa’s daughter is in college and finally an opportunity for me to pay it forward. She needs help with her final thesis, a research project on the effects of television on girls’ identity formation.
Eric, Lisa’s son is starting a business. “How can I help?” Introductions to venture capital persons, entrepreneurial experts. What a delight. I am mentoring and coaching the Alchemist’s son. He was 5 years old the last time we met and played.
Lisa emails “reserve the date” for her retirement party. I am co-founder of 3Plus International with two European partners, Lise Moen and Dorothy Dalton. We will advance women to senior leadership roles by matching them with the right mentors, sponsors and networking support, and
Lisa sent this post to her employees to encourage them to mentor others. To her surprise, they responded to her and about her. With her permission, I share the their comments.
What a lovely article that succinctly articulates your magic touch and supportive bond. I just re-read the book "The Alchemist", finishing it about a week ago, so it couldn't be more serendipitous. "The universe conspires to help one reach his/her personal legend." You truly help all of us find the magic within to find our direction.We are lucky to have you in our lives.
WOW – what a beautiful poem and sentiment….and the Pay It Back mentality…..
Wish I had had the chance to meet the Black Eyes in Person :)
What wonderful closure for you.
This makes me even sadder to not be able to work with you for a longer period of time. Being a mentor takes time and commitment to another person that not many people are willing to give, so I think this is a very large honor and speaks very highly of you. Thank you for sharing with us and Congratulations!
One of the true signs of a “GREAT” leader is to not only provide the guidance, training, “shoulder”, to their employees so they can reach their potential, but to also embrace the moment when they receive a promotion or perhaps an offer for a role greater than even the leaders holds. There is a poem about the mom eagle who “pushes” her babies off the cliff when the mom feels they are ready to “fly” on their own. Yes, the babies are scared but they not only fly on their own, but they SOAR to new heights.
To use that story, you have prepared so many people to “soar” Lisa and that you should be proud of………………
Thanks for everything you do for all of us.
This is just another reason we know you are special !!!
This is wonderful. You should feel so good! I think you have found your next calling.
You do make a difference in the lives you touch. What a wonderful gift you have.
I totally agree...Lisa, you are truly a very special person...we are all so fortunate to have met you and worked with you.
Lisa, you have touched so many lives in such a positive way. I hope that the blessings that you have provided to so many come back to you a thousand fold.
Lisa Brown joins 3Plus International as a mentor-sponsor in September, 2011. Lucky is the woman who works with her.
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Dates for the Diary
November 12th European Commission DG GROW
Informal talk on how to deal with sexism - 12.30 - 1400
November 25th Council of the European Union - Corporate Event
How to deal with sexism and harassment in the workplace
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Create an Effective USP What is a USP? Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why...read more
Menopause in the workplace In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life,...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
Sexism: How to stage a Bystander Intervention in the Workplace In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
A company might sound like they are diverse and inclusive, but make sure to do a thorough investigation into gender washing.read more
It might not be apparently obvious how a consensual relationship can turn someone into a poor brand ambassador, but we need to take into account the power structures at play.read more
We tend to think of single-sex education as being an antiquated notion, but maybe it could solve some of our more contemporary issues.read more