Posted 209 days ago ago by Admin
If you have read my articles in recent months, you know I have talked a lot about character, integrity, and other such tools to have in your toolbox to help you have a successful career as an aircraft maintenance technician. Those are all essential. An often overlooked, but critical tool to have at your disposal is an experienced mentor.
Merriam and Webster’s dictionary defines a mentor as a trusted counselor or guide, a tutor or coach. Do you have a mentor in your life? Is there someone that you consider a coach, accountability partner or trusted advisor? If the answer is no, then you should look for one. A mentor could be someone that works with you, someone that has more experience doing what you do or even someone that can speak transparently into your life.
We all learn differently, but a good mentor is someone that can combine knowledge and experience and impart it to someone else. Benjamin Franklin astutely made this statement, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me, and I learn.” All of us have had our share of continuing education seminars. All of us have had classes on the latest products, tools, and tricks, but mentors can demonstrate proven skills that you can keep in your toolbox for a long time. Mentors are not people that will give you what you want to hear. Mentors are people that speak the truth well, even when it is difficult.
Whether or not you are a fan of the DallasCowboys NFL team, most people know their iconic former coach who sported a fedora. Tom Landry once defined a coach in a very accurate way: “A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.”
Mentors have a way of stretching you, teaching you, and helping you reach your potential. In both my military career and career in aviation maintenance I have had my share of mentors. Two of my greatest mentors are Perry Siler and Buddy Evans. Without them pouring into my life, I would not be where I am today. Mentors also help us see our purpose and direction. It is not just important to know how to do things, but to also know why.
President John F. Kennedy once said, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” Hopefully, as you read this column you are realizing your need for a mentor, and even identifying someone that can be your mentor. It is important to learn from others. It will help you be more successful in your career as a maintenance technician. If you are already well established in your career, perhaps it’s time for you to consider who around you could benefit from your mentorship.
President John Quincy Adams once said, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are a leader.”
About the author: Mark dedicated the majority of his career serving the helicopter EMS community from Base Mechanic to Director of Maintenance. As Vice President & General Manager of Precision Aircraft Services, Mark now serves helicopter operators from many sectors to include Air Ambulance, Law Enforcement, Private Owners, etc. When not at work, Mark can be found spending time with his family or sitting in a tree stand.