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Military leaders crusade for mentoring in Cincinnati

Saturday, October 31, 2015  
Posted by: Rufino Cabang
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Hormel teammates Denise Crawley and Nikki Craig meet (ret.) Gen. Becky Halstead
at the NEW Cincinnati event.

"You are a mentor even if you don't know it," retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Becky Halstead told nearly 700 NEW member and supporters at the NEW Cincinnati fall learning event, Oct. 28, 2015.

"Every one of you coaches your subordinates around you," Halstead said. "You only choose a few of them to mentor."

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Halstead joined retired four-star U.S. Army General James T. Hill to share "The Value of Mentoring and Its Lasting Legacy" and offering mentoring lessons based on their military and business experiences.

Hill said he chose Halstead to work for him not only because she had been "bright, selfless, loyal and had done a great job in the past," but because he knew he could get her promoted from the role.

"As a general you are obligated to bring people along," Hill explained. "Then and today we don't have enough women generals in the Army."

A mentoring relationship must be nurtured by both sides, Halstead said. "We had to work at our relationship. General Hill had said, 'Becky, protect me from myself.'"

Frankly speaking

In choosing a mentor, she said, find someone with whom you can walk into a room, close the door and know she is able to say, "Do you have any idea what you're doing here?"

But don't look for a clone. "It doesn’t matter if you have similar personalities or not in a mentor/mentee relationship," Halstead said. "Different personalities help you to think differently."

Knowing when to ask for help is critical. "I don't have to be the expert all the time," Halstead said, urging attendees to consult with their networks for needed information.

Remember not to act rashly. "Almost nothing requires an immediate decision."

"Who do you want to follow in your place?" Halstead asked, noting the value of creating a team that will last for years.

Still, your legacy as a leader is your legacy as a person, Halstead said. "At the end of the day your children will not remember if you were a good employee or manager. They will remember how you were as a parent."

Organizations sending large delegations to the event include Altria, Ernst & Young, General Mills, Harlow-HRK, Kao USA, Kellogg, Kimberly-Clark, The Kroger Co., Procter & Gamble and Xavier University.

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