Today’s blog post is about the power of mentorship, and how visionary leadership is shaping our future together. In this story I am the receiver of the mentoring (mentee), the mentor is my friend J. Allen, the Founder and CEO of Masters Alliance. J. is one of the people in my life that I want to be when I grow up! As one of the earliest sponsors of the Good Leadership Breakfast, he came to me with a command in 2015. “We have to create a special breakfast for the purpose of encouraging young leaders.” I listened, and asked for his help. Here’s how that is shaping our future:
Mentors have brilliant insights
Background: The Good Leadership Breakfast Series has become the signature event of our firm, Good Leadership Enterprises. We work with courageous leaders and their executive teams to outperform their markets, and realize their dreams, based on the idea: Goodness Pays. Our products and services include coaching, speaking, training, events, books & tools. Since 2009, we’ve hosted 76 breakfasts, attracting more than 18,000 guests, and contributed more than $290,000 to charities through the generosity of our speakers and guests.
Acting on J. Allen’s mentoring, in August of 2016, we invited one table of college and high school students chosen for their current and future leadership capacity. It was a Good Leadership Breakfast experiment with a one-question validation. We asked: “Do you find a discussion about goodness in leadership interesting, and valuable for your development?” The answer was unanimously, “YES!”
So, the following year we hosted about two dozen students. The photograph at the top of this blog shows what happened in 2018 – 118 Young Leaders attended the Masters Alliance Young Leaders episode of the Good Leadership Breakfast. And that started J. Allen to think again: “What if we had 5000 Young Leaders here someday?”
Enter TCF Bank
Inspired by one of the Good Leadership Breakfast events, our friend Sheila Posthumus from TCF Bank asked me to be the keynote speaker at the 2018 TCF Consumer Banking Summit. As part of the follow-up communication, she expressed her interest in gaining an influential spot for TCF Bank to be a sponsor of the Good Leadership Breakfast. All I had to do was share J. Allen’s vision for how to grow the Young Leaders Breakfast…and now we have joined forces.
August 16, 2019, will be the largest Good Leadership Breakfast since we began in 2009. TCF Bank is now the presenting sponsor for the Masters Alliance Young Leaders breakfast. We expect to exceed 400 guests, with nearly half of the audience attending as young leaders, here’s how that works:
Every “grown up” leader who has a ticket is obligated to bring along a young leader. As J. Allen advised in 2015 – the established leaders in the room have an obligation to pass along the message that “goodness pays.” Especially when we are distracted by the Dark Noise, or tempted to cut corners or look the other way…goodness is a better way to get ahead in life.
So, it’s time to ask you the question: Who are you mentoring for visionary leadership? Why not bring a young leader to breakfast on August 16?
The speaker is Alvin Abraham, the founding dean of the Dougherty Family College at the University of St. Thomas, a two-year college for very low-income students as part of the university’s mission to advance the common good. He’s an energetic, charismatic leader who knows how to inspire young leaders.
As the Founder, Creator, and Curator of the Good Leadership Breakfast, it feels good that the advice of a mentor is helping me shape the future of our firm and of young leaders in the Minneapolis metro area. And the momentum is encouraging me to think harder about how we can shape the future of the planet with the idea: Goodness Pays!
Tickets for the TCF Bank, Masters Alliance Young Leader episode of the Good Leadership Breakfast Series are on sale now.