My Greatest Mentor: Part 2

Daddy knew that participation was the route to discovery and insight.
Daddy knew that participation was the route to discovery and insight.

Great mentors are participative partners.  And, Ray Bell, my greatest mentor, was such a partner. The words: “How ‘bout going and getting the tractor and park it in the barn?”  were powerful music to my ears when I was a ten-year old growing up on a farm. It was Daddy’s way of nudging along my maturity. To get the very special privilege of starting, driving and parking a large expensive tractor communicated trust and respect. His gesture also left me feeling thrilled…and tall.

The tractor-parking incident was more than a badge of being “grown up.” It was a symbol of partnership—I obviously relied on Daddy, but at that moment, he trusted me enough to return that dependence.

Great mentors perpetually seek ways to include…to partner. They would rather facilitate than lecture; they enjoy great questions more than smart answers. Daddy joined in the pursuit, offering guidance not expertness. He seemed to always know that participation was the route to discovery and insight, all important building blocks for significant learning.

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Dr. Chip R. Bell is a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and innovative service. Global Gurus ranked him in 2018 the #2 keynote speaker in the world on customer service; #1 in North America. He also is the author of numerous national and international best-selling books including Take Their Breath Away, Managing Knock Your Socks off Service, Magnetic Service, The 9½ Principles of Innovative Service and Customers as Partners. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages.

His newest customer service book is the award-winning, best-selling book Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles.

Dr. Bell has appeared live on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, CNN, Fox Business, ABC, CBS, NPR Marketplace and his work has been featured in Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company.


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