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The Benefits of a Mentor Relationship

At the onset of my career and in positions following that led me to be President and CEO of Southeast Mortgage, I’ve had a number of influential people in my life that mentored me and helped me develop the skills I needed to succeed. I remember each of them and still hold them in high regard.

Cal Haupt, President and CEO of Southeast Mortgage

Cal Haupt, President and CEO of Southeast Mortgage

The role a mentor can play in a young professional’s life is unparalleled by any knowledge that can be gained from online forums or self-help books in a bookstore. In an industry that is by nature constantly fluctuating, the mentor role becomes increasingly important to success.

A good mentor not only provides knowledge and experience, but also invests in the success of the mentee. We’ve written before about the various programs Southeast Mortgage has created to harness the mentor relationship, with our MLO Associates Program. We’ve personally experienced the benefits of a good mentor and seek to emulate those experiences in a clearly set-forth and measurable way.

Our team takes pride in paying forward the mentor experience. We assess young professionals’ strengths and weaknesses and create personalized training paths that will leverage skills and feed ambitions. However, a successful mentorship takes effort on both parts.

One has to be willing to learn from and heed the advice of the mentor in order to fully reap benefits of the relationship. To do well in the mortgage industry specifically, one has to truly invest the time it takes to understand the industry basics and take advantage of the advice from seasoned professionals that have seen the various cycles of the fluctuating industry.

To watch that young professional take advice and learn the industry quickly is incredibly rewarding as a mentor. The way of the world today means sometimes mentors see their budding young professionals make career changes, but the way a person navigates the transition can maintain that mentor relationship.

As a mentor, it is disheartening when a mentee fails to live up to his or her promise or fails to be appreciative. But despite the bad seeds that don’t flower, the success and appreciation of those that do flourish allow a mentor to continue believing in others and creating opportunity.

To build a successful business, one needs not only loyal and dedicated employees to pass on their knowledge, but an appreciation of those who provided leadership and insight that paved the way for the business’ success in the first place.

In appreciation for my various mentors throughout the years – Roger, Roseanne, Rick, Robert, Pat, Tom and David – here is the culmination of the best advice they taught me that I hope to pass on: Build a layered real skill set over many years that is diverse and deep and you will exceed your expectations for your career and ego – because it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.


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