Pass the Baton–Be a Mentor

By Mia Hall
 The word mentor is most commonly defined as an experienced and trusted advisor. Dr. Dale Bronner titled his book on mentoring “Pass the Baton” and that Mr. Alfred Edmond, Jr. has done for me.

Historically, besides its use in Greek mythology, it derives from words like the Greek mentos which means “intent, purpose, spirit, passion” and the Sanskrit word man-tar which means “one who thinks.”

I was very fortunate to have great advisors throughout my career. Most of them are women, though as we celebrate fathers during this month, I would like to highlight the jewels that my mentor, Alfred Edmond, Jr., taught me through the years.

We met at a Small Business Awards ceremony for people under 21 years ago. We stayed in touch and he has guided me with the intent, purpose, spirit and passion that describes the true meaning of a mentor, ever since.

I have learned many things from our lunches and chats and would like to share a few of the things he has taught me and that have guided me throughout my career:

1. The Road to Heaven is Paved Through Hell
From the first time I came to his offices, he would let me know that he did not get there by way of any ”crystal staircase.” If I wanted to be successful, which is basically my question toward him, he assured me that it would take faith, hard work, grit and determination. I would have to go through pain in order to gain. He said, “Trials & tribulation are not punishment, but necessary preparation for you to meet your destiny.” Through my years, I certainly discovered the truth of these statements.

2. Become a Woman of POWER
Yes, a man can teach you how to tap into your inner woman of power if you have not found her yet. We all have it in us, it just may take some encouragement, motivation, and gall to find. Not only did he recommend that I read one of his favorite books “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene, but he also gave me the opportunity to volunteer at the Black Enterprise, Woman of Power Conference in 2007. That single conference helped the trajectory of my career. I learned a great deal about moving up the corporate ranks, developing your own business, and met great women and friends that I stay in contact with today.

3. Promise to Reach Back and Help Someone Else
So the most important thing I learned and Alfred always emphasized, was to not just take all that I learned about success and use it for myself, but to “pass the baton” and guide young women and women that were looking to advance in their careers or obtain their dreams as well. Giving back flowed through his veins. I could tell by the time that he gave me out of his busy schedule, to speak to me, suggest edits on my resume, or put me in contact with someone else he thought would get me closer to my goals and by the time he gave to serving on boards and at his church.

I encourage you to ‘Pass the Baton’ as we were all given the gift of life and gifts that were meant to help someone else find their purpose.


miaAbout the Author
Mia Hall is a sports and entertainment reporter specializing in the business of sport. She has worked with organizations such as the NBA, NY Knicks, Black Enterprise, The Basketball Channel, The High School of Sports Management, and is currently with the new Barclay’s Center. She is passionate about the youth of today and committed to nonprofits such as PowerPlay NYC, Inc. and other youth empowering organizations.