I currently sit on the board of the Chicago chapter of WISE (Women in Sports & Events) and recently had the privilege of co-hosting a webinar as part of U.S. Soccer and the USWNT’s SheBelieves Virtual Network. The goal of the week-long programming was to provide support, inspiration, and real-world tools for young women as they begin their career journeys.
My partner-in-crime and co-host, Amy Potter, is the national chair for the WISE Within mentoring program, which is a program I went through a few years ago. She and I jumped in to host the first part of the career readiness webinar, which centered around mentorship.
Here are the most important takeaways from the webinar:
- Anyone can be your mentor! Amy mentioned that Phil Jackson has recently become a mentor to her after seeing his leadership style as she watched The Last Dance. It can be a coach, a boss, a teammate, or someone in an entirely different industry. It doesn’t matter who your mentor is, or what their job is, what matters is that you see traits in them that you want to emulate and learn from.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate! The foundation of a good relationship is communication, right? Clearly communicate what your goals of this relationship will be and set expectations of each other from the start. How often will you connect? Will it be a phone call, an in-person meeting? Are you looking for a job? Hoping to learn more about leading a team? Call those things out and set goals with your mentor so you can hold yourselves accountable.
- You have to own the responsibility. You are asking someone else to give up their time and energy to help you – so, be respectful of that. The work that you put into this relationship is going to be a direct reflection on what you’ll get out of it.
- Be yourself. Seems simple, and it should be. In being authentically you and letting your guard down, you’ll find more success. It’ll allow you and your mentor to connect further, making the relationship that much stronger, and allow both of you to learn and grow.
This was a really neat opportunity to partner with Amy and U.S. Soccer to share our experiences about mentorship – the two of us have benefited both professionally and personally from the mentors we’ve had in our lives. If you are looking for a more structured mentorship program, check out your local WISE chapter and apply for the WISE Within mentoring program.
Check out the video below for the full webinar.
Categories: U.S. Soccer