January is National Mentoring Month and we are celebrating by featuring Mentor Foundation’s own wonderful mentors and mentees.

14 January 2015 | News

We reached out to a few of our mentors and asked them questions, about their feelings towards mentoring and how their lives have been affected by those who inspired them.  First up this week, is Dennis Kirk.Tell us a little about your self and what you do for a living.

I support people in accomplishing really big challenges–as an executive coach I work with clients who want to become more effective and inspiring leaders. Coaching is based in science and is a proven way for anyone to make more progress in less time than by working alone. I also help organizations become more successful.

Who has inspired you most in your life?

Professionally, it was Lani Barovick, one of my first bosses, who I worked for for about 16 years. She was fearless. We worked in human resource development in a couple different organizations. She had the ability to walk into a raging storm in an office or meeting and think clearly and inspire everyone around her to start behaving more rationally too. That ability really captivated me. Personally, it started with my parents who taught me that with focus and work hard I could accomplish anything that I wanted to.

What would you say is the most rewarding part of being a mentor?

Mentoring really is a two-way street. There’s the part about helping someone use their inner genius to become as successful as they want to be, and it is about sharing my experiences. Giving back and sharing is always rewarding. But I learn as much or more by being a mentor as my mentee learns from me, because mentees are growing up in a very different world than I did. They open my eyes and expand my understanding about our city and our world. That understanding helps me support my professional clients better. So for me there are both intangible and tangible rewards.

Where would you be today without mentors in your life?

Wow! That’s a scary question. There are so many forces pulling us away from success and making us blind to new opportunities. Without other people around me who cared and shared what they knew and taught me to believe in myself, I’m certain I wouldn’t be where I am today.