8 Of The Best Lessons We’ve Learned From Our Mentors

To celebrate the things we’re thankful for this week, we asked our team what advice their mentors had given them that they are most grateful for. From words of wisdom to the hard to hear feedback, mentorship is a unique relationship that can have a lasting impact on careers and lives.

See what our team had to say below.

“I received advice from an old creative director that hurt to hear at the time, but that I’ve come to appreciate greatly. ‘Don’t let your work be too precious.’ At the time, it felt like she was saying ‘let it die,’ and forcing me to move on, but now I understand a bit more. As a creative person, the work I do can often times come out of a lot of emotional investment, and I can be guilty of taking my work too personally. If I can separate myself from it a little bit, and allow it to evolve through collaboration, the work will usually end up significantly stronger than where it started.” –Sean T., Design

“Adam Smith, a trusted mentor, once gave me some great advice: ‘Deconstruction is valuable; reconstruction, even more so. Invest more energy into creating something you do like rather than critiquing something you don’t.’” –Joanna R., Customer Experience

“Dr. Wilson was the Clinical Director at the non-profit where I worked and besides being charismatic he was approachable and he pushed me to be better but in this very genuine and gentle manner. He told me that most times, people know the steps they need to take to improve their lives, be it personal or professional but sometimes they just weren’t ready to say it out loud or didn’t have the confidence in themselves to believe that they actually had the answers.

He was talking about meeting people where they were in their growth at that moment and it is something I’ve taken with me into every interpersonal interaction. I try to remember that everyone is on their own self-development journey and to be respectful and understanding of that journey. This reminds me not to give unsolicited advice, to provide a safe place to fail, and to provide as much support as possible.” –Marisa M., Customer Experience

“When I took over as the pastor of my former church, my dad said he saw General Schwarzkopf speak one time and he was reflecting upon when he found himself temporarily in charge of, I think, the Pentagon, after only being there for a few days and he had no idea what to do. But it was something to the effect of ‘Take command and do the right thing’ and that always stuck with me.” –Jon C., Customer Experience

“One of the most valuable lessons a leader has taught me is to get full context on a project before accepting it. Learning how to prioritize and better project manage has a huge impact on my day-to-day and helped me create my own processes for getting tasks done.”–Matthew M., Amazon Specialist

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Shelly Weaver-Cather
Shelly Weaver-Cather

Shelly Weaver is part of the Content Team at Tuft & Needle, leading the writing and editing of our blog. Not quite a Phoenix native, (They take that sort of thing super seriously.) Shelly has spent most of her life in the Phoenix Metro area and has no plans of leaving anytime soon. She made the unexpected jump out of wedding photography and onto T&N’s team in 2016, and found a passion for the people that keep the lights on. She still finds herself shooting in her free time, though these days there are less bridal portraits and more masterpieces of her first child, Duke, a lab-pit mix with an unparalleled love for both T&N mattress hogging and couch destroying.

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