3 Core Principles That I Think Everyone Should Seek in a Boss or Mentor
Potential in a new employer is more than just a raise.
Last year when the pandemic began, I quickly alerted many past clients about the opportunity for a refinance. In one instance, as much as my client could have saved by taking action, he was unable to as, unfortunately, he lost his job even before Covid became rampant. One can only imagine how disheartening it could be to lose a job and face a landscape of economic uncertainty when you are already feeling dejected.
When he called me a few weeks ago telling me he could finally refinance, I received much more than a new loan client. He reminded me of our lengthy conversation over a year and a half ago — not that I needed to be reminded, however. Among other things, after he told me he lost his job, our discussion moved away from mortgages. I told him that one surefire way to earn a good living is to be at a place that you are passionate about what you do and become "invaluable" to your employer. I suggested that he even consider taking a new job that was lower than his previous income as long as there was "potential with his new employer." When I said potential, I was not only referring to a raise — I was referencing three core principles that I think everyone should seek in a boss or mentor: values, vision and voice.
Values reflect the beliefs and principles that drive a person. If a person's sole objective is to make as much money as possible, they may certainly end up rich — but it is a telling attribute. Without proper values, some people would continuously compromise ethics and integrity in pursuit of profit. It can be seen when dealing with a challenging situation at work or when faced with a mishap. When proper values anchor a person, nothing will sway their actions other than doing what is right. This is something to seek without concession when looking for a mentor, advisor or boss.
Vision is the route that a person is on. As they say, "the journey is the destination." Rare will it be that you find a successful entrepreneur who says they have "made it!" When they hit their intended target, they set the marker even farther and see how much more they can accomplish. When seeking to align yourself with someone, find out their "current" goals and aspirations. Ask about previous milestones and accomplishments. Listen to their story and ask about trials and tribulations along the way. How they navigated through their journey is an excellent indicator of their commitment to accomplishing their vision.
Voice is their "manner" of communication. Many people are great conversationalists and exceptional at building rapport. As crucial as that might be, it's not what I am referring to. Manner is the style and methods used to lead people and help those "on the journey" accomplish their essential goals and objectives to support the collective cause. This manner of communication can be seen in how someone inspires colleagues and clients and how they influence those to push past points they didn't realize they could surpass. It is how they can take complex topics or farfetched ideas and make them seem reasonable.
As for my client, I encouraged him to find someone and someplace where these three cornerstones are an integral part of the organization. Do what it takes to get the job, and once you get there, work as hard as you can — always asking for more responsibilities. Your worth will be evident in your work. After a few months, your efforts and actions should speak for themselves. He went from starting at a company at a lower salary than he had five years ago, to attaining a raise of over $40,000 within 11 months.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor