An intriguing article caught my eye in the December Forbes entitled The Macallan 30, Stories of Gratitude from Exceptional Business Leaders.” Here are a few examples from the article:

  • Grant Pinkerton, Owner of Pinkerton’s Barbecue is grateful for Sarah who helped him launch the business in spite of working full time elsewhere.
  • Diana Rau, Co-founder of Veterati is grateful to her military veteran husband and Co-founder.
  • Drew Silverstein, CEO of Amber Music is grateful to his former music teacher.

There are of course, many other examples in the article.

Looking back of my 30+ years working in Corporate America and now 20+ years in business, I see only notable mentors on the business side. The big corporate career, although satisfying, was more “dog-eat-dog” than lifespring.

Today my mentor, the elder, is Ralph Lowenstein who has been guiding me through the challenges and success for the past 20 years. Ralph built a successful business with a partner and sold the company years ago to long-term employees. After the sale, he joined SCORE helping start-up entrepreneurs and that is where we met. He continues to mentor me to this day long after leaving the SCORE organization. I will not make a major company decision without consulting Ralph. He has become a friend as well as mentor.

Another mentor, the younger, is Chuck Proudfit, Harvard MBA and CEO of both SKILLSOURCE® and At Work On Purpose. Chuck is continually affirming me in my endeavors.

So here is the question to ponder: Who are the real winners here? Are they the grateful entrepreneurs or the unsung heroes that spring-boarded them?

Given a choice, I prefer the ‘back-bench’ role as the wind beneath the wings of successful others. How about you?

Jim MullaneyJim Mullaney

READ MORE: If you like this article you will want to read “The Battle for Disruption”

Jim Mullaney is President and CEO of Edoc Service, Inc. a total remote company that helps other businesses with tools and services for greater productivity and collaboration.