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Listening to our Emerging Leaders

Written by Rebecca Okamoto on Nov. 24, 2013

I believe in mentorship. If it weren't for my earliest mentors, I would not have the skills, confidence, and experiences that I have today. My mentors were always my opposites who valued me for my differences. I am very grateful to them - if I had waited for an Asian woman to mentor me at P&G, I would still be waiting.

But I never had a reverse mentor. Until now.

A reverse mentor is a different type of opposite: an emerging leader who coaches an experienced leader. I never thought I needed a reverse mentor, and I didn't value the 20 something perspective. I was wrong.

Today I have 2 reverse mentors, Dom Liberati and Jon Levy. I’ll introduce Jon in a later post. Dom is a 20 something musician, tall, a former standout high school and college quarterback, an extrovert, and a night owl. He is a far cry from a mechanical engineer.

I am not 20 something, not tall, not a QB, definitely an introvert, and I'm an early bird. In spite of our outward differences, our core beliefs are the same: our values, our Christian faith, a drive for excellence, and a shared mission to save many lives.

Dom brings a very different perspective and acts as my "mirror" by asking, "why"? More than a few sacred cows have fallen as a result. Sometimes age and experience are cages that lock us in when the world has changed around us, and we need a “mirror” to break us out.

My parting words to you - respect our emerging leaders. They are powerful, passionate and inspiring. They have a lot to learn from us; leadership must be developed and fostered. They have just as much to give with their insight, dreams, and perspective.

Dom is the editor of 20 Something, the voice of the explorers. Dom is a super talented musician and songwriter. He is also a natural leader, intellectually diverse, and an insightful writer. I respect and admire him very much. Visit his website and get to know his music at http://domliberati.com

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