Thoughts + Articles

Thank Your Mentors

When did you last thank your mentors for helping you reach your goals or dreams?

Throughout your life you will have teachers, coaches, friends, family members, and bosses who inspire and motivate you to reach your goals.

Go back in time to your first school days. Who was your favorite teacher? Why?

My favorite teacher was Mr. William Whitson. He was a tall handsome young man with twinkling eyes and a big smile. He taught me to play the violin when I was 8 years old. He encouraged, motivated, and inspired me to work hard for him. He made me feel competent and capable.

Dr. John Maxwell, the number 1 leadership guru in the world said, “That teacher probably saw you as a “10”.”

If a boss, teacher, leader, or coach sees you as a “2” would you be willing to work hard for them?

When a teacher, boss, coach or leader sees you as a “10” – as capable and competent aren’t you willing to work harder for them?

At 17, I auditioned for Professor Peter Zaret for a full scholarship to attend Virginia Commonwealth University. He was tall, dark, and handsome, neatly dressed wearing a big smile. I played well at the audition and he offered me a full scholarship to the University, which I accepted. Professor Zaret made me feel like a “10” and I was willing to work hard and do my very best work for him. At his invitation I became a member of the Richmond Symphony and assisted him in teaching his adult beginning violin class. During that school year I was a violin student of Professor Zaret . He suggested at the end of the year that I audition for the Juilliard School. He was a wonderful mentor during that year at VCU and encouraged, inspired, and motivated me.

At each stage of your life’s journey you will have a different mentor to encourage, inspire, and motivate you.

Think back over each stage of your journey and write down the different mentors who saw you as a “10” and encouraged, inspired, and motivated you!

When I was 18 years I moved to NYC and lived in the Swiss Town House. My roommate was a lovely young woman named Anna Brady. She was a talented violist and artist, a few years older than me, also attending the Juilliard School. She was from a family of 10 children from New Jersey.

We became good friends and she was one of my first mentors at Juilliard. My violin teacher at the time thought of me as a “4”.

Anna said to me one day, “Come with me to meet my teacher Professor William Lincer. You will love him!”

I went with Anna and she introduced me to her teacher Professor Lincer. He was an older tall and distinguished man with dark hair with some gray, a mustache, and wore a big smile. He made an appointment to hear me play my violin for him.

After I played for him he called me a “red hot fiddler’’ and invited me to join his chamber music class even though it was full. Professor Lincer took me under his wing.

That was the day I discovered Professor Lincer thought I was a “10”. On that day he became my mentor. At the end of the school year I re-auditioned at the Juilliard to become a student of Professor Lincer full time.

Professor Lincer encouraged, motivated, and inspired his students. He took them under his wing. All his students loved and cared about him because he cared about his students. He was interested in training his students to not only be wonderful musicians but to be good thinkers. He had book assignments for reading outside of class and had you write a short book report. He also sent his students to Yoga classes to loosen up and Alexander Classes to teach coordination, balance, and movement. Professor Lincer would also check to make sure you showed up at these classes. He never left a student high and dry! He made sure his students succeeded and graduated with their Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D.’s. He never gave up! Anna Brady graduated with her Masters at Juilliard and so did I. He thought of each of his students as a “10” and inspired, motivated, and worked with his students to help them reach their goals. His students adored him!

Through your life’s journey you will have many mentors! You will have a mentor for every part of your journey just like my mentors Mr. Whitson, Professor Zaret, Anna Brady, and Professor Lincer.

Remember to thank them and develop others just like your mentors developed you.

What are the three things you can do to be a great mentor?

1) Dr. John Maxwell says, “Make people development your top priority and see everyone you mentor as a 10.” Lift them up: The person you mentor wants to feel important, capable, and competent. Help them by raising their skills. Encourage, inspire and motivate them. Take them under your wing like Mr. Whitson, Professor Zaret, Anna Brady, and Professor Lincer did for me.

 2) Ask the people you mentor for their story and what their dream or goal is. Remember to encourage, inspire, and motivate them to reach their goals. Mentors stand behind the person they are mentoring until they are ready to solo and fly on their own.

 3) Care about the person you are mentoring and want the  very best for them.

Remember through life you will have many mentors. They can be teachers, coaches, bosses, leaders, friends, and family members. These mentors will see you as a “10” and will share books, tapes, suggest courses, and will lift you up, encourage and motivate you to increase your knowledge to reach your goals.

Mentors stay the course:

1) Your mentor shows you how to do the work. (“Models”) The person being mentored watches!

2) The person being mentored does it and the mentor watches over them to see if they   need help.

3) The person being mentored tries it solo. The mentor sees if they are ready to solo on their own and fly.

I am proud to have mentored children and adults for over 30 years in schools, colleges, and businesses to reach their goals and dreams. Step up today and make mentoring others  “your top priority”.


Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM is an Best Selling Author, John Maxwell Team Member, Certified World Class Speaking Coach, sought after speaker, business owner, motivational teacher, researcher, and concert artist. She helps businesses and organizations “Tune Up their Businesses”. Her innovative observations show you the blue prints necessary to improve and keep your business successful. She writes a monthly newsletter “Madeline’s Monthly article & Musical Tips Blog” and a monthly radio show “Madeline’s One Minute Musical Radio Show”. She has just published her new book “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget” available on Amazon or Kindle. Contact Madeline Frank for your next speaking engagement at






This entry was posted on Sunday, December 13th, 2015 at 2:14 am and is filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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