Rosemary Meehan Tator, one of the primary mentors for Building Bridges Leadership, passed away last week following a lengthy battle with cancer. Rosemary had a lot to offer teams who are looking to create authentic community in the workplace, especially as a woman business leader in male-dominated industries. Her 50-year career was full of team leadership roles, including at Atex Publishing Systems, where she served as the Director of International Marketing. She co-founded Greenpages Inc., a corporate computer value added reseller where she served as their Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, and later founded Avalon Solutions Inc., a computer solutions provider, where she served as President and CEO. In the early 2000s, she transitioned to work as a management consultant, trainer, motivational speaker, and executive coach for her own firm 2beffective, as the Principal Partner which she continued until her death. During this time, she co-authored the book “More Time for You: A Powerful System to Organize Your Work and Get Things Done” with Alesia Latson, and coached countless professionals in greater effectiveness in their careers while reducing their stress and living lives they loved.
In the spirit of full disclosure, Rosemary was also my mother-in-law, so she and I had many opportunities to talk about her impact on the work of Building Bridges Leadership. We also worked together on a number of programs in the last few years since our work and client bases were so aligned. When discussing a team’s challenges, she listened for layers underneath the surface, and always asked insightful, probing open-ended questions to encourage self-reflection in the group and amplify voices that otherwise wouldn’t be heard. She also looked for – and believed in – what was possible for each team, even if it seemed unlikely given the team’s trajectory. She always worked to encourage and equip others, resulting in meaningful and lasting change beyond the current challenge. I am a better facilitator and a better consultant because of the time and skills she instilled in me. She was, to paraphrase one of her favorite songs, “the wind beneath our wings.”
Rosemary’s passing has led me to reflect on the role of mentors, which I’ll post more about in future articles. But in the meantime, take this chance to think about your own mentors – both formal and informal – and the impact they’ve had on your life and career.
This Week’s Tip:
Reach out to the mentors you’ve had in your professional – and personal – life, and let them know the specific impact they’ve made on your life.
- Take time to reflect on, and write down, the mentors you’ve had. Many of us have had formal or informal mentors, and those come easily to mind. But these could also be people you’ve never considered as mentors before, but who have made a significant and lasting difference in your life. Write their names, and take time to jot notes on the specific ways they have impacted you: skills they have passed along to you; how they have shaped your views; choices they have helped you to make without their knowledge.
- Let them know the difference they’ve made. This may come in the form of a phone call, a handwritten note, an in-person visit, or a personal gift; think about which form of communication would be meaningful to them – this might be different than what would be meaningful to you. Let them know the specific impact they’ve had on you. Like a stone hitting a pond, the ripples extend out beyond you too, and if you’ve shared the skills with others that your mentor shared with you, let them know that too.
If you’d like to read more about Rosemary’s life or make a donation to an organization in her name, visit her obituary page.
Try this out this week and let us know how it goes in our Facebook group – we’d love to hear what you learn about yourself and others as you do.
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