I keep a running list of the most impressive, impactful mentors in my life. These are people who have helped me in a significant and meaningful way and have impressed the hell out of me while doing it.
Simply put, they are some of the best people I have known.
My plan is to write a book about these people and the lessons that they have taught me.
The list currently stands at eight:
- My former Scoutmaster, Donald Pollock
- Former sixth grade math teacher Mrs. Shultz
- Former high school French teacher Lester Maroney
- Former English professor Pat Sullivan
- Former English professor Jackie LeBlanc
- Former McDonald's manager Jalloul Montacer
- Former teaching colleague Donna Gosk
- Former principal Plato Karafelis
In searching for photos for a book proposal, I came across a note from Jalloul that he wrote to me in November of 1995, just before leaving the Hartford restaurant that I was managing while attending Trinity College. He offers a piece of advice that I thought worth sharing:
This may seem like the antithesis of someone like me who sets goals, publishes them online, and charts their progress monthly, but not true. I often achieve only about 60% of my goals in a given year and am comfortable with that degree of failure.
My goals remind me of my direction, but it is relentless, unending progress that I seek to achieve.
Jalloul taught me many important lessons. All of the people on my list did. Perhaps some day I will tell those stories.