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CEOs who raise up others show there’s method to mentoring

It’s a two-way street, as many top executives both dispense and receive advice at the same time

May 10, 2019

By Martin Berman-Gorvine

Some association leaders are such good mentors that they grow entire crops of CEOs, many of whom end up leading organizations in very different fields from those where they began. What makes them so good at nurturing others’ careers?

Jeff Joseph, who became CEO of the Software & Information Industry Association Jan. 3, counts among his mentors Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association since 1991, and Scott Whitaker, who was COO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization and is now CEO of the Advanced Medical Technology Association.

“Caring about people” is the first quality Joseph mentioned good mentors as having.

“I suspect that leaders don’t push for or implement mentoring programs or serve as mentors unless they really care about people,” he said. “And then, it’s making that a priority, making the time. Present CEOs have multiple demands across the day, hours, weekends, months. But those who really make it a priority and find time to really listen—I think that’s the key.”