“Everyone wants to be on their team. They understand human nature, they bring people together, they know how to resolve conflict. That makes a great mentor.”

Maureen Downs never had a mentor, but she knows what it takes to be a good one. A mentor is not supposed to be your personal cheerleader, or a mommy figure, or a career navigator, and certainly not a fairy godmother who can wave a wand and make your career awesome. A mentor is a leader, one with energy, fresh ideas, a get-it-done attitude, and an ability to resolve conflict.

Downs offers a direct, insightful and sometimes brutally honest look at the role of the mentor, how to be a good mentee, and a few tips on how to manage crises, failures, and the “nasty people” we all encounter from time to time. She says it is OK to greet failure with anger or self pity, but only for one day. Then it is time to take the next positive step forward.

Words to live by.

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