Today I am thankful for one of my mentors, Mark Glahn.
Mark Glahn and I have worked together for over 16 years. Over those years I’ve learned so incredibly much from him that it’s tough to figure out where to start this post.
Within my first few months at Express I had a little issue with showing up on time. Mark was the person who stepped up and took it upon himself to have a very “dad-like” chat with me to get me back on track. He also was the one who helped me out with a conversation about how I wasn’t dressing professionally enough for sales. Mark stepped up to have those uncomfortable conversations with me to both help me professionally and to set an example of the values to Express. Those conversations have stuck in my head all these years and I think to his example when I’m tempted to skip a difficult conversation.
One of the things I’m known for is for doing things like wage and benefit surveys and presentations like my Shifting Paradigms in Today’s Workforce. Any guesses where these ideas came from? Very early on Mark taught me the importance of not just sending people to work at clients, we have to make sure we are experts who can help consult our clients. He used the wage survey as a tool to get to know the market better and then openly shared this knowledge at no cost with our clients in hopes of helping them become better employers. He taught me the importance of knowledge and the value of giving as they relate to business.
Mark is an incredible trusting and generous partner. He is always making sure that all partners are getting their fair share. He takes care of others first before himself. As a partner he knows that sometimes he needs to make a judgement call and does what is best for all stakeholders. When the decision is not his to make he whole heartedly commits to the course of action regardless of whether his preference was selected. After the decision is made you’d never know if it was his choice or someone else’s.
While all of those are great reasons to appreciate Mark, there is one reason more than any other that I appreciate this mentor. Becky summed it up very eloquently after our week in Belize. “He really cares about you, like a friend and a son.” That hit the nail on the head. Mark cares about me tremendously and is willing to do whatever it takes to help me out. When I have huge amounts of stress he offers to take some off my plate. When I’m down he offers words of encouragement to lift me up. When I’m boring the candle a little too much at one end he reminds me to spend time with my family and to enjoy them. When I’m wrong he corrects me, and is patient when I might be a slow learner. At the end of the day I know he loves me and wants the best for me and is willing to do whatever he can to help me be successful. Not only does he care for me though, Mark is a constant role model for me as a friend, a leader, a father, and a husband.