Corporate boardrooms are filled with personalities, politics and process. The tribal dissemination of wisdom can lead to success in both one’s business and personal life. You don’t have to be a CEO to impact people. Many CEOs still consult with mentors. Everyone should have (and be) a mentor. Looking back, I remember my top 8 mentors. These folks graciously afforded me opportunities and shaped my professional and personal development.
I owe a debt of gratitude to these incredible people:
- Poncilla Gratton – Formerly of the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office who opened my first door and provided me access to Los Angeles’ elite leaders. Poncilla started my transition from college to the real world.
- Wilfred Marshall – Formerly of the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office who championed small business development. Wilfred showed me what “think globally but act locally” really means.
- Tavis Smiley – An American PBS host, author, liberal political commentator, entrepreneur, advocate and philanthropist. Tavis taught me that unyielding ambition fuels accomplishment.
- Frank Hotchkiss – A Buddhist republican and Santa Barbara city council member. Frank unknowingly groomed me in business etiquette.
- Paul Wallace, MD – Renowned physician and member of the boxing Hall of Fame for his work advocating safety in the sport. Paul provided me with the confidence to express my opinions on a global stage for the greater good.
- Nicholas McClure – Barrier breaking Harvard Business School entrepreneur. Nick instilled a HBS mentality in my head, helping me to tackle any situation.
- Barry Weiner – Quietly pioneered the direct mail industry and generated over $100 million in revenue. He coached me in my personal life and approach to building a business while teaching me that limitations are only mental.
- JR Ridinger – World-class entrepreneur and visionary who started Market America from a garage. Later, he led it to over $6 billion in revenue. JR has inspired me in countless ways and has given me the support to guide e-commerce success for a multinational product brokerage business.