Leadership Is About Mentorship
By: Jorge Gómez, Director of Business Management
Being a leader isn’t about managing others, but instead, it’s about helping our employees be the best version of themselves – being a servant leader. We can do this by facilitating our employees’ career paths and creating an open environment for them to showcase the value they provide to Jabil.
In other words, we as leaders should be mentors for our employees, which in turn, gives us this important but rewarding responsibility to promote their achievements and abilities to grow within in the company.
Listening is the first step in understanding what the people on your team need and is the only way to identify common interests the employee has with Jabil. From there, I find the next step is to determine the best projects and scenarios where that employee will be exposed to opportunities to gain new skills and expertise.
I like to sit with my team and understand their larger goals, working with them to brainstorm creative ways to achieve those. Together, we discover what competencies they have in their current role, create a succession plan to master those competencies and define a personal development plan to round out their profile, skills and experience. This is how we can practice servant leadership, a topic also mentioned by Ying Guo in her Joules article.
“I’m grateful to watch her grow and succeed, as I am with my employees, and it’s why I find mentoring to be rewarding.”
In the end, this is what opens new career possibilities for the employees and add value to Jabil. One example of mentoring I’m proud of is the opportunity I had to help Paloma Barazza, Controller at Guadalajara and 2018 STEP Ahead Honoree. We had met when she joined Jabil Chihuahua as a cost accountant, and through projects together, we developed this reciprocal relationship where we mutually coached each other through our various roles over the years. While Paloma was deciding on some professional growth opportunities, I encouraged her to face the new challenge confidently, and now, she’s the Plant Controller at Guadalajara. I’m grateful to watch her grow and succeed, as I am with my employees, and it’s why I find mentoring to be rewarding.
Personally, I’ve had many mentors, including my number one: my dad. I still go to him for advice and to gain his wisdom. Professionally, my mentors have been diverse and from many disciplines, including Anthropology, Business and Finance. Each of their contributions have enriched my career development more than I could have ever imagined. It’s important for people to have a variety of mentors who help create well-rounded experiences, so their skills and competencies can continue to grow diversely, as well. This practice has served me well in my career, and I hope to continue to share that with those around me.