At EMJ, employees are encouraged to invest in others through servant leadership, and the organization’s Career-4-Life program provides opportunities to serve through mentoring, collaboration and training.
EMJ’s one-on-one mentoring program pairs leaders within the organization for nine months. Ben Milner, Senior Vice President of Preconstruction, was paired with mentor Jay Jolley, EMJ Chairman of the Board, for the inaugural mentoring class.
The two began having monthly meetings and focused on developing trust and openness with one another.
“We did it simply by tearing down barriers,” says Jay. “I shared my life story—the good, the bad and the ugly—and the hope was in doing that, [he] would be able to respond in a similar way by sharing with me [his] life story.”
Just as with business and client relationships, the key to mentoring is listening. “A lot of mentoring isn’t telling people what to do. It’s listening to what their problems are and trying to relate your experiences to what they’re going through.”
Ben’s experience with Jay has led him to incorporate servant leadership and mentorship into his own career. Now, every Friday, Ben sits down with an individual employee for two hours for a coaching and training session.
“When you have the opportunity to really pour into an individual and see that lightbulb go off in their head, I think it brings more satisfaction to me than probably the employee sitting across from me,” explains Ben.
One of the big takeaways Ben learned from his time with Jay was how to reorganize and prioritize his schedule to make time for coaching and training others. Though the Friday training sessions require him to work more here and there to make up the time, Ben considers the sessions well worth it.
“There is a dividend that pays off in the future,” Ben says.
Watch the video at the top of the page to learn more about Ben and Jay’s experience in the mentoring program.
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