I have been blessed to have had several mentors in my professional life. I have been blessed by some people older than myself who by example instilled in me a regard for and understanding of not only the business of a business, but the humanity of a business; people who by example inspired me to learn from my mistakes, care about my reputation, conduct myself with honesty and passion, and strive to become a decent citizen of the world. By example, these people taught me, helped me, challenged me, and expected the best from me as they expected the best from themselves. They made me cry because they were tough. They made me laugh because they were playful. They made me think because they were thoughtful. They made me care because they were careful. And in the process, as I grew from being an assistant to a colleague to a peer, we became friends because we shared a deep mutual respect for our business, for one another, and for the future.

As I walk along the paths of my life and my work, I don’t always take the time to think of and thank these people who themselves never thought they were remarkable in any way, just doing their job, just doing what came naturally, just doing what was right. I stop now to think of them and thank them, for they were most remarkable indeed. Remarkable for inviting me into their offices and homes to witness them doing their jobs, doing what came naturally, doing what was right. To witness. And to embrace all that would become essential to my own growth into someone of whom I can be proud. A businesswoman, a colleague, a person of whom I sincerely hope they would be and are proud.

It is a wonder how deeply one person can touch another simply by being present. By listening. By suggesting. By living fully. And by laughing. Oh, the laughing! Would that everyone be as lucky as I’ve been to enjoy but one older person in their life by whose example they can be inspired in their work and their life.

In honor of Dilys Evans, Linda Hayward, Richard Jackson, Margaret K. McElderry, Ole Risom.

(c) emma d dryden, drydenbks llc


  1. And you, m'dear, have in turn touched many, many lives, including mine. I am ever grateful for that, and feel like I have absorbed the essence of Margaret K. McElderry, through you.

  2. Anonymous7/11/2010

    And just think...out in the world right now are those waiting and hoping YOU will become their influential, memorable mentor. The circle of life principle continues.

  3. Your post has reminded me of how many of my older mentors appear in my stories.

  4. "...not only the business of a business but the humanity of a business..." I love that. I wish more people remembered and expressed that humanity. Thank you for this reminder that we all need to stop and take stock in this manner, think of how we became who we are and who led the way.

  5. This was lovely, Emma.
    A mentor - at just the right time - can change everything.

  6. We writers are surrounded by mentors both in our fiction and in our lives. It's a wonderful life.