Relationship Building 101 – Stephen Powell of Mentoring USA
Last month in New York, I had the privilege of meeting with Mentoring USA’s Executive Director, Stephen Powell. Mentoring USA’s mission is to create positive and supportive mentor relationships for youth ages 7-21, through a structured site-based model. Since 1995, it has provided mentors for more than 5,000 children. Stephen joined Mentoring USA back in 2005 and has since expanded the program across the nation in major cities such as Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, and also in Newark, NJ.
Mentoring USA truly is an awesome organization, so we were more than honored to have the opportunity to learn from their leader, as we continue to build our own nonprofit organization and program (Give Merit’s FATE Program). And from my conversation with Stephen, I wanted to share with you one of the main nuggets I came away with. Mentoring USA has garnered support from a lot of prominent people. I mean everyone. From Martin Sheen to Alonzo Mourning. As a result, we were very interested in asking Stephen how they garnered these relationships and if he had any advice for us to establish similar partnerships (FATE National Ambassadors).
Stephen reminded me that it’s all about proper relationship building. And relationship building done correctly, is a slow-cooked method. That means the benefits do not always resonate quickly. It takes time and patience. So you don’t always want to make an ask. You have to genuinely create connections with these people, and sometimes outside of what they can do for you. Stephen also encouraged us to remember, all you need is one. And the right one, using their platform, will offer greater influence to the people your organization is trying to help, and push your mission forward.
“Patience leads us to great people who will support our divine purpose on the planet. #favor #vision #reciprocate” – Stephen Powell, Mentoring USA’s Executive Director