A group of Wake Foresters gathered over dinner in Dallas at the home of Wake Forest parents on October 25, 2017, to discuss the topic of developing champions.

Our discussion on mentors and coaches prompted several in our group to share key people that were pivotal in shaping who they are today. One person discussed his mentor, who was instrumental in his development as a hospital administrator. The mentor made an investment in the participant, showing him how to be a selfless leader, which he wants to pass onto others. Another Wake Forester described her father’s constant display of hard work throughout her life. From growing up in poverty to still working to open new ventures today, his example was impactful.

Other participants recalled the positive impact of a special teacher. One person in our group focused on the high school teachers she had who truly cared about her and taught her about preparation. This nurturing she received as a student influenced her desire to be a mentor for others. Some participants chose notable examples from early in their careers. One member of our group talked about her time working for a boss who had very high expectations of her, which in turn prepared her for when she was running her own business. Finally, a participant shared the stories of his ‘evolution of mentors,’ which helped teach him to believe in himself, to put in hard work and to realize his full potential.  

Our discussion on developing champions reinforced the principle that mentors and coaches are impactful, and help shape how we develop. Some  words were heard frequently throughout our discussion: influence, belief, inspiration, impact and patience.