By Jolly Mokorosi
I have the honour of having a God-fearing and prayerful woman as my Godmother. One of the many things she has done for me was encourage me with the following scripture as a child “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
Fast forward two decades since and I don’t think she ever realised what an impact that scripture would have on my life. To this day I sit in meetings, around boardroom tables with people in excess of 20, 30, 40 years my seniors (sometimes the next youngest person in the room is 20 older then me). When I enter these environments and feel out of place I remember her scripture so I know that I am in the right place. However it has not been enough to be in the right place. I knew that God would send individuals to walk the journey with me. I have needed several individuals to help me navigate my career and life in general. Some have knowingly or unknowingly walked this journey with me. I will not mention all of them but here are some that I call on depending on the role that needs addressing.
The young corporate executive/CEO
Ironically I have 2 male mentors that I turn to. The first is Roger Pearce. I have the great privilege of being pastored by someone who has himself been the head of a financial services organisation and is a professional. This allows me to seek advice from someone who I account to (as my pastoral head) but also understands the environment in which I operate. He reminds me of what is important and will stand the test of eternity in the context of hearing from God now.
The second is Tendai Musikavanhu. He himself became a CEO before the age of 30. Although lately geography has played a role in diluting the frequency of face to face meetings I know that he is truly an email or Skype call away. Tendai and his wife, Gail, have played the role of life coach as well as that of mentors to me and my husband. They have walked with us from courting couple to grandparents.
Aspiring African Business Woman
Here I turn to Sabi Mthwecu. I was privileged to have stumbled on this wonderful woman of God by a chance encounter. I praise God that nothing is ever in vain and the circumstances that lead to that meeting felt like a vain attempt of a day at the time. Nearly 5 years later and knowledge and experience that I could not have gotten out of any book later I am a very grateful child of God. I am learning about chartering waters that are both corporate and politically charged through her experience in corporates, politics, boards, government and academia. She has been excellent at giving me exposure and making introductions to relevant individuals.
The Corporate Wife
In addition to a mentor, I have a wonderful friend and councillor in Yvette Solomons. An established business woman, internationally renowned professional in her field and Chairperson of her industry board who has raised 2 God-fearing children and has a marriage I admire. It did not take me long to figure out that God had placed this woman in my path as an example of a life consecrated to Him. More than a decade into our friendship she has taught me practical ways to honour my husband and love my children while heeding the call of the Father to the market place in a manner that glorifies Him. Any appointment with her is attended with a fully charged iPad, ink in pen and notepad with several empty pages so that as I learn I may record. Wisdom flows through her like one mentored by God Himself.
There are several others who I call upon when I need guidance on raising my children, building a business, working out my salvation and solidifying my marriage but these five are like a council of elders in my corporate life. They do not substitute God in any way and every word they say must align with what the Father says but on several occasions they have been ‘Jesus in the flesh’ to me. Neither do they make my problems go away. Rather they act as a lighthouse in a storm keeping me away from the rock shores.
I hope that you are encouraged to surround yourself with mentors if you have not considered it before. I pray that even as you read this God may point them out to you.
Do you have different mentors for different areas in your life or one overall mentor?
Are you a mentor?
What has your experience been?