When was the last time that you stopped to think about the journey that brought you into the supply chain? I speak to students frequently, and I end up explaining my journey pretty much the same way each time. Instead of telling the real story, I just list the sequence of jobs that I’ve had. Who cares? The important information is not the jobs … it’s why I took those jobs in the first place and why I left them when I did. What was it about those jobs that got me from point A to point B to being a supply chain professional?
Looking back on it now, in every case, the answer is “mentoring.”
I’ve been blessed with great mentors who have played a vital role in influencing my career and my life choices. There have been times when mentors guided me toward opportunities and challenges that I would not have thought to tackle on my own. In other cases, they saved me from big mistakes. And, of course, there have been plenty of times when I ignored their advice, did it my own way and paid the price for it. But even in those cases, I learned more from my mistakes, and learned it faster, because of my mentors.
Now that I’m at a point in my career where people are asking me for guidance, I take my mentoring responsibility seriously. It is not about “paying it forward;” rather, I am repaying the debt that I owe to the folks who invested their time and energy in me.
By Daniel Stanton