A Fitting Title
In November of last year, a mentor and friend of mine, Professor Michael Reuter, retired from Seton Hall University. After over a decade of serving as the Director of The Gerald P. Buccino ’63 Center for Leadership Development, the legacy he leaves behind is an inspiring one. A career so legendary, the University has honored him with Emeritus Director’s title, an honor conferred by a university to show respect for a distinguished career. Even with that accomplishment, he will tell you, “the best is yet to come.”
The Discovery of a Mentor
I first met Professor Reuter when I was the Marketing Director for Investors Bank. I had agreed to have a couple of interns from Seton Hall work once a week on my team as part of their leadership development program. I did not know what I was getting myself into taking on these specific interns. I was up to my eyeballs in a ten billion dollar bank’s marketing business, and now I had to find stuff for these kids to do. The interns were so enthusiastic, so charged up, it was infectious. These young professionals came to work each Friday, prepared, professional, and ready to go. I assigned each of them very intense projects, as Professor Reuter told me these interns were the best of the best, and I was to challenge them. In the end, not only was I impressed with the work they did for me, but they had inspired me as well. The enthusiasm and passion for serving others these individuals possessed was overwhelming.
After years of working and corresponding with Professor Reuter, I came to understand what had charged up those interns with passion and optimism. It was their leader, mentor, and Professor. I asked him to sit down with me and talk about “getting a good start.” He said most certainly would and was honored to be asked. Just that comment got me charged up. I mean, I have no one listening, no subscribers, and have not published one episode yet, but he was honored. He inspired me by making me feel I had already accomplished something great and pushed me to do more through his praise.
It is no wonder he is a favorite of the students and faculty. If you had ever walked across campus with him, you would find him greeting nearly every person with a smile and calling them by name. But you would never feel his attention drawn away from you. A mentor makes you feel unique, meaningful, and gifted. So much so you get charged up to take on a challenge you never thought you should start, never mind complete successfully. A mentor of this caliber is rare.
It is my great honor to interview Professor Reuter on the Get A Good Start podcast this week. If you want a good start to your day, take 15 minutes to listen to a master speak. Check out my interview with the Professor and then come back and read the rest of my blog. At the end of the blog, I provide key points and takeaways from the interview. And now, watch or listen to my interview with Professor Michael Reuter and Get A Good Start:
There are several takeaways from our interview with Professor Reuter:
- Starting with the end in mind.
- Having a positive mindset.
- Pursuing who you want to be, not what you want to do.
These are things that can help each of us get a good start.
If you are a student, you may not know your final destination, or as we discussed, what your future career may be; that is okay. You can still begin a day with the end in mind. Everything you do can prepare you for the next step, so try a little of everything to help you eliminate the things you don’t like quickly.
If you are one or two years out of college and just beginning your career, you need to set your sights on building a network of people and building relationships. Make it your goal to meet a new person each day, sit with people you don’t know, and make it a point to say hello to everyone.
If you are currently in a career field and feel stagnation, find out what you need to do to get the next promotion. Then, go out and check off those things one at a time. It is pretty simple, ask, plan, and execute.
Here is the takeaway tip:
You may not always know the specific final goal, but you will still know the tools you will need. Tools like business relationships, building peer respect, and daily self-improvement will provide you with opportunity and preparedness. Set a goal of reading for 10 minutes a day, taking an online course each quarter, or offering help to people outside your circle of comfort. Doing these things can help you build meaningful relationships, improve your knowledge, and increase your confidence. At the very least, your peers and your boss will see you busy working at bettering yourself and those around you. These seemingly simple things can give you a competitive edge and an excellent start to wherever you want your career to lead.
So, get a good start and tune in next week for another podcast where I will help you get a good start.