I have been fortunate to have several mentors throughout my life. People have been willing to teach, guide, and help me along my journey. I have had help personally, professionally, and physically, I remember and appreciate them all. I have a special place in my heart for the one I label as my greatest mentor.
Dr. W. Patrick Dolan fills that spot for me. He is my greatest mentor. He is a quiet, non-assuming trained Jesuit Priest, who obtained his PHD from Harvard in Organizational Development. Patrick spent his career coaching, consulting, and facilitating systemic change in organizations. I worked with him in the education sector.
Patrick was a teacher, friend and brilliant thinker. I was an eager learner and spent time studying and reading any book he suggested. I learned to think differently, to learn from my mistakes, and to learn to be intentional in my work. He gave me advice, believed in me, and was a strong role model as I worked with individuals, groups, and school districts.
As I continue my career, I try to mentor others and give to them a portion of what he gave to me.
Some of those principals were:
- Help others and have a genuine interest in their success
- Learn, think, and nurture a growth mindset
- Develop skills around self-reflection and be open to feedback
- Be a great storyteller to make concepts relatable
- Ask powerful, open ended, thought provoking questions
He had such a great influence on my life and continues to inspire me. I write this blog in loving memory to W. Patrick Dolan and send thanks to his wife, Marian McClellan, for her friendship.
Who in your life has made a great impact on you and your destiny? How would you finish the sentence….my greatest mentor is? Are you willing to emulate what you learned to pass it on to others?