Leadership Mentoring Recap May 19, 2016

Terry Dear

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In partnership with SCSIM (Southern California Society of Information Management), thirteen executives took time from their busy schedules to participate in our Leadership Mentoring event on May 19, 2016.



Participants got an opportunity to be intimate and sit with an executive for 20 minutes (in groups of 4-8 at a round table), interacting with them on any subject. Each attendee was able to interact with three executives, as well as meet up with them afterwards.

From a participant's perspective, Sumair Mahmood, stated it best. 'While I work with CIOs and CISOs on a regular basis, it's not often I get to have 20 minutes with an executive to talk about me, the pressing issues on my mind, and my personal development. Last night I was privileged to have not one but three such sessions, and one of these has turned into a long-term connection through LinkedIn already.'

From the executive mentors' perspective, all expressed their passion to be able to give back and share their tribal knowledge. To them it is a rewarding 2-way process learning from others and having fun.

Take a peek at the fun the group was having at our Flickr site: WITI OC Mentor Event Photos.

Unable to capture all the pearls of wisdom that were shared and for those who could not attend, here are a few take-aways that were captured.

  • Relationships always outlast transactions.

  • When in doubt, transparency is the best option.

  • It's all about listening.

  • Keep yourself relevant.

  • Always be yourself.

  • Manage up to not be flat lined in your career.

  • Learn the business - just ask questions - you can actually connect the dots much faster than others in the business by virtue of being in a broad IT role. "Learn the business language, and there's many".

  • Build trust in your relationships to influence.

  • The more you give, the more you receive.

  • There are only three things as a human you can control.

  • - Your thoughts
    - Your words
    - Your actions
    - Your career does not go straight. It is not a ladder. It is more like rock climbing.

    A special shout-out to North Highland for sponsoring our event. North Highland is a global consulting firm with a twist. They bring big ideas and challenge the norm. They work with their clients, not at them. They deliver services in Customer Experience, Performance Improvement, Transformation, and 'Technology and Digital' for a variety of industries.

    We are also indebted to all 13 of the executives who donated an additional one hour mentor session to raffle winners.

    Nothing like technology to close out the event. Engaging everyone and their cell phones, WITI OC hosted a real time live audience poll, displaying the audience responses real time. What a great way to capture feedback, and thanks to over 70% of the audience for participating!

    In the interest of supporting diversity, while WITI is a women's organization, our events are open to both women and men. Learnings in Leadership, Technology, and Career development are gender-neutral. This event was an epiphany for a couple of men who realized gender equity should not be a women's issue alone. One of our gentlemen confessed that he felt a little awkward attending a WITI event two years ago when he was one of the only men in the room. Fast forward two years. He came back to this event and was able to interact with everyone equally and naturally.

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