New Twist to Our Throwback Thursday Content!
We want to hear from our community of mentors about their past mentoring relationships.
Dottie Gandy touches on her past mentor/mentee relationships and what it is like for her to be a mentor today!
Who is or has been your most impactful mentor?
My father, Basel H. Bruce. When I was 16, my father, who had a 9th grade education, asked me what I wanted to do with my life (it was very important to him that his children receive a college education and then make a difference in the world.) I told him I wanted to be a tap dancer on Broadway. Rather than give me the lecture about the futility of that vision with phrases like “What makes you think a teen-age girl from Waco, TX, can make it on Broadway? You’ll be a waitress all your life, etc., etc., etc. – my father responded “If you want to be a tap dancer on Broadway, you’ll be the best one they ever had.” Little did I realize in that moment that he planted the seed called I-can-succeed-in-anything-I-try that became the mantra and courage to try – and succeed – in a remarkable variety of successful career initiatives. All teen-agers should be fortunate enough to have someone who believes that strongly in them.
Why has this person been so impactful to you?
I had a series of successful careers in ‘going where no others had gone.’ When civic organizations (Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, JayCees, etc.) did not allow women to be members in the 70’s, my business partner joined together with a small group of women and created The National Assn. of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2015. I authored and published two books with no previous writing experience whatsoever. I have started several businesses, each of which has succeeded. I attribute these successes to my father’s belief that I could succeed in anything I tried.
What was the main reason you decided to become a mentor?
I believe that whatever we do, it must always be a contribution to someone or something. Having profited so valuably from my father’s ‘mentoring,’ I feel a responsibility to support others in finding and fulfilling their destiny as well.
What are some of the things you hope to accomplish being a mentor?
I call myself a “re-wire-ment mentor” because I am committed to helping people refocus (rewire) their thinking about beliefs or experiences that have stopped them in the past. A re-wire-ment mentor helps people a) take their dreams off hold, b) go public with their private vision, c) turn a transition into a transformation and d) get their vision/ideas in front of a larger audience and d) learn to say yes to saying no.
What has been your most inspiring mentoring moment so far?
Working with a woman who is successfully transitioning from an employee in a particular industry to the CEO of her own business for which she has an extraordinary vision.
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