Can you name three to six people who have believed in you, spent time with you, encouraged you, and therefore made a difference in your life?
And can you then name three to six people you have taken the time to take under your wing?
If not, perhaps consider becoming a mentor.
No skills are required -- just the ability to share information and caring, Lee Curtis told members of the Walton County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.
Former Tourist Development Council Executive Director Jim Bagby was the keynote speaker at Wednesday's chamber luncheon. Bagby spoke about mentoring, using his personal experience and "The Powell Principles" on leadership.
"What's the difference between management and leadership?" Bagby asked the crowd.
A leader leads by example.
"Inspiring people to go beyond," said Bagby, "and sometimes that means you have to piss people off."
Leaders often have to trust their gut instinct in making decisions for the betterment of and organization.
"Once you're in the 40-70 range of certainty, go with your gut," said Bagby.
Going with your gut means that you won't be buffaloed by the experts and elites, and you won't be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyards. It also means it's sometimes easier to beg forgiveness than get permission to do something.
"Trust yourself," he said. "You are the one who has to own it and you don't know what you can get away with until you try."
But when doing this, never neglect the details.
To those in positions of management, Bagby told them that the day their staff quits bringing their problems to them, they have stopped leading.
He advised them to fit no stereotype and not to chase the latest management fads. And, most importantly, never get so close to their position that when the position goes, their ego goes with it.
"Sometimes we don't empower our people," said Bagby. "Empower your people. The commander in the field is always right."
When looking for people to hire, Bagby said to look for perpetual optimism, intelligence, judgment, and most critical, the ability to anticipate and to see around a corner.
"Look for loyalty, integrity, high energy, a balanced ego, and the drive to get things done," he said.
When selecting someone to mentor, Bagby said most people look for themselves in others, that spark and fire that they had.
Bagby was responsible for leadership training when he was in the U.S. Army. He has actively participated in the chamber's mentoring program for several years.
January is National Mentoring Month.