The Mentor Concept - by Rick Bava

November 13, 2013 - I am very excited to write this column. For someone who has a reputation and commitment to serve the Baby Boomer Generation, it is rewarding to share my thoughts on the mentor concept and its impact on Baby Boomers. I am also pleased to share what I’ve learned about the organization, whose CEO, John Young, has made his organization’s mission, “To promote the value and use of the experience and wisdom of the Baby Boomer Generation to benefit others!”

The mentor concept is good for Baby Boomers, and here is why. 

Baby Boomers have 30 to 40 years of career/life experience.  They have “Been There, Done That!”

Many successful Baby Boomers attribute much of their success to having mentors who impacted their lives and careers, and thus they understand the benefit of a mentor relationship. I know this first hand, for when I was an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, Professor Winston Brembeck was a mentor to me - he set me on the path to the career that I would eventually experience. Looking back on my thirty year corporate career and the lessons learned, it is apparent that it all began with the advice and council of this famed professor, who simply took an interest.

At this stage of life, Baby Boomers are seeking to be valued; they are looking for a “Purpose.” Mentoring can help these Baby Boomers find the path they are seeking. The consensus from the 314 Baby Boomers whom I have interviewed, and the countless additional Baby Boomers whom I have talked with informally, is that making a contribution to society is paramount to their life goals. Many Baby Boomers report that good health is also at the top of the Baby Boomer wish list. While being physically active is very important, they recognize that being mentally active is of equal importance. Recently while preparing for my featured column in Today's Senior Magazine, “The Baby Boomer Corner,” I was talking with a group of Baby Boomers, and they brought to my attention the concept of becoming a mentor as a means of “making a difference.” Baby Boomers are becoming aware of this vehicle and they have begun doing some homework on the subject.

Mentoring offers Baby Boomers the opportunity to stay at the top of their game and provides them with social interaction. Baby Boomers are highly educated, and they want to continue to feel relevant in our society.  However, they would like to pursue this goal without having to take too much valuable time away from family life or completing the items on their “bucket list.” Becoming a mentor to others can help a Baby Boomer make a contribution, while still remaining in control of their own time. 

Let us assume that you have valuable experience, and you feel that what you have learned and achieved in life would be helpful to be pass on to the next generation. How would you go about making a contribution in this way?

One avenue that I would recommend is  John Young, founder and CEO, created to provide an avenue for Baby Boomers to contribute to society by serving as mentors to others.  He wanted to provide a convenient way for Baby Boomers to reach out to help others, and he recognized that while Baby Boomers have so much experience and wisdom to offer, they don’t always know how to do so.

Connections could be made between mentors and those who desire mentoring based on common interests. Interestingly enough, John received some of his ideas for this concept from his daughter - a real life example of one generation impacting another. Both father and daughter recognized the power of the internet, and thus the mentor program that John has created takes advantage of the information super highway. 

One Baby Boomer who spent a career in behavioral psychology reports that helping others simply makes you feel good! That in itself is enough of a reason to consider pursuing the mentor program.  But furthermore, there is something to be gained when the knowledge that you have spent a lifetime gathering can be transferred to someone else. In the process, you may also be granted a gift that we all seek, appreciation from another person. It may even come with a “Thank You.”

Stay Sharp. Stay in the Game. Share Your Knowledge!

Become a Mentor