Mentors should never be marginalized. Napoleon Hill always talked about Andrew Carnegie, and Jim Rohn always talked about Earl Shoaff and dozens of people still talk about Jim Rohn. There may not have been a T-Mobil Communication Company, if not for the power of a mentor.
John Stanton, former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the board for T-Mobile Communication, blazed a trail in the telecommunication industry because of advice he received from a sincere mentor, named Baker Ferguson, who was Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Whitman College.
When John was a sophomore, in Whitman College, Baker gave a speech, and at the end of his speech he said, “If any of you ever have an issue, come on down to the bank, and we will talk about it.” John assumed that, he meant, what he said, and ended up walking down the road to the bank the next day.
As he was getting ready to knock of the door to Baker’s office his secretary rushed up and said, Mr. Ferguson is very busy, did he have an appointment? Before John could fully explain, what Mr. Ferguson had said the other day, Baker heard them talking, and opened the door and said, “That’s OK, come on in, what can I do for you young man?
Baker Ferguson had graduated from Whitman College and went on to Harvard Business School. He fought in World War II and was a P.O.W. When he came home from the war, he could have gone anywhere in the country, but decided to return to Warsaw Washington to work in the bank, his family had founded.
Under his leadership, that bank became one of the best banks in the country, based on investor’s rate of return. Baker had vision and he was one of the early investors, in the wine industry. At the time of his death, he was considered one of the founding fathers of the wine industry, for Washington State.
Years later when dedicating a building in Baker Ferguson’s honor, and another time, when he gave a speech at a memorial service, he told the story of how he thought, he could “just walk in without an appointment”, and talk with the President of the bank and Trustee of the college.
Maybe he didn’t know that Mr. Ferguson, the bank president was probably one of the busiest people in the town, because he had hundreds of people working for him. He later learned that mentoring, was just a part of his nature.
At the time John dropped in, he was trying to decide if he should attend law school after graduation, and what kind of courses he should be taking. John was surprised that Baker took so much time out of his schedule to talk to him. After their little discussion, “four hours later”, John decided to go to business school instead. After John’s dedication speech, some people came up to him later and said they had the same experience.
Taking time to listen to others and to give guidance must have been the reason Baker came back to Warsaw Washington. Have you had a mentor who left a lasting impression with you? Napoleon Hill and Jim Rohn were my main mentors plus I have discovered many more through Success Magazine and Chris Widener’s Made for Success series.
I still remember the first time I heard Jim speak. Whenever Jim tells his story he always mentions his mentor Earl Shoaff. Likewise, Napoleon Hill always mentions Andrew Carnegie. These two men; Hill and Rohn are always mentioned when people speak about personal development because they had such an impact on the industry and the world.
As a results, of speaking with Mr. Ferguson, John went into the business field, instead of law, where he spent 20 years in the communications business blazing a trail in the communication industry; first as co-founder of the Mc Caw Communication Company, then he founded Western Wireless Communication which turned into Voice Stream which then grew into the communications giant T-Mobile.
People are so busy protecting their job today, that mentoring someone may mean training your future replacement. The world is a lot more competitive now. If you are so busy working on your job and it takes all your time and effort, who else can you help?
Once you get the money out of the way; food on the table, kids fed and bills paid, then you can begin, to do other things. Once you learn to build a system that primes the money pipeline, you won’t have to show up every day like you do with a job. When that happens, you have reached “financial freedom”.
How much would you need to prime your money pipeline? Would $3,000 a month do it for you, or are you looking at $5,000 a month or more. Who will tell your story when you are gone? Who will be your mentor? What will be your legacy? This has been straight talk, no chaser.
Wow Earl, you have the most amazing stories. We really must remember to edify our mentors and leaders over the years. I love how so many people are able to give their time to mentor people. One of the great mentoring programs that happens in New Zealand is Big Brother, and what the mentors do for the young boys there, is fantastic
Yes, it’s always great to mention our mentors. All the successful people do it, and we have the mindset of abundance meaning there is more than enough for everyone! Thanks Earl.
Thank you, Earl,!! What a fantastic mentorship story! Thank you!
Thank you for your comments. Everybody needs somebody to move forward in life. Mentors are those special people that enjoy reaching out to help others. It’s the power of purpose.