Posted in: Membership Memo

Membership Memo - Where Will You Find Your Next Mentor?

Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Mentors enter our lives from many different paths—family, school, church, co-workers, volunteer organizations, and even trade associations, to name a few. I recently attended the PCI Annual Meeting in Hilton Head, SC, with my wife and was struck by the number of colleagues, both past and present, attending the event who influenced my personal and professional growth.

The realization really hit me at the Hall of Fame reception and dinner. What an amazing gathering of industry icons eager to share how they forged their paths and how they all benefited from participation in their common goal; the promotion and acceptance of powder as a premier protective and aesthetic coating for the products we encounter in our everyday lives. Mission accomplished on that initial endeavor.

As I listened closer, I heard how these leaders were deeply enriched by the relationships built throughout their years of close collaboration. Many of the Hall of Fame inductees are now lifelong friends. That’s quite a side benefit resulting from the simple goal of elevating the industry.

The rest of the Annual Meeting had thought-provoking guest speakers that provided a glimpse into what to expect from the economy (both nationally and globally), how to get the most out of trade show participation, and even how to come to grips with our much-maligned millennials—perhaps, dare I say, even how to understand the way they view the business world.

The information and insights from this year’s Annual Meeting shared a common thread for me. As I listened to speakers from the Hall of Fame, Board of Directors, committee chairs, customers, and yes, even my competitors, I realized that many of these folks have been and continue to be part of the process of shaping my growth.

Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to learn from family and business contacts who are not only the best in the industry, but also the finest people you can ask for. I continue to surround myself with people I consider to be much smarter than me. That’s easy to do when working in an industry with so many talented people that continually extend a helping hand.

Fresh off the inspiration of this year’s Annual Meeting, I implore you to look to be better today than yesterday. Challenge yourself to learn something new or pass along knowledge that was passed to you. Share the stage. Shine the light on others so they can grow into our next generation of leaders. And ask yourself, “Where is your next mentor (or next opportunity to be the mentor)?” I think you will find it’s wherever you decide to listen, learn and share. PCI can be a big part of mentorship in both directions.

By: Greg Dawson, senior sales leader for Nordson Corporation’s U.S. Industrial Coating Systems Division.