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Why Everyone Should Be Your Mentor

Do you have a mentor? Someone you learn from? If not, it's not because none are available. In fact, they are all around you. Let's look at an example that comes from Walt Disney. One morning, while visiting the Disneyland Park before it opened, Walt invited some third-shift maintenance workers to stop what they were doing and join him for a chat. When their manager found them talking with Walt, the manager asked Walt if he could have the workers back to finish their work before the park opened. As they went back to their assignments, the manager felt compelled to ask Walt why he was spending his valuable time talking with third-shift workers. That’s when Walt shared his philosophy with the manager:

“Good ideas come from everyone.”

Walt Disney sought out advice from everyone on his team - from executives to those who swept main street. He believed that everyone has the potential to contribute creatively to their organization's success by generating new and useful ideas. That was a key part of Walt's excellent leadership. He purposely learned from everyone. Take that approach and you'll soon discover that everyone can be your mentor. Everyone has something to contribute to your journey, if you'll just take the time to involve them. Instead of just sitting in an office with "executive" leaders, get out and rub shoulders with everyone. Ask them their thoughts about a program. Ask their opinion about the appearance of the rooms. Ask them what they would change? What they would drop? What they would start? When you see everyone as a mentor, you unlock the door to so many new conduits of ideas. Want to improve your guest services area? Instead of just getting ideas from 2-3 people in an office, talk to the people who work on that team. Want to improve your curriculum? Instead of just debating about it with 2 other people, ask all the people who are actually using it. Want to improve your VBS? Do an evaluation after it's over. Don't just ask the people who taught, but also ask the helpers, the people who helped set up, the maintenance team, and some parents. You get the point. The more mentors you get involved, the more ideas and insight you'll have to work with. This doesn't mean you'll be able to implement all the ideas you receive. But it will give you more advice and input to work with. And tucked down inside the advice is an idea that is going to take your ministry to a whole new level. The idea is there, you're just not asking enough people to find it. That's why everyone should be your mentor. Walt took that approach and did pretty well. I bet you can too! p.s. If you want to see tons of ideas from Disney that you can apply to your ministry, then check out the book "If Disney Ran Your Children's Ministry," You can get it at this link.

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