With any luck, we all have a mentor or two in our lives that we can attempt to emulate as we fumble our way through life.
Often it is through “one on one” tutelage. My father, John Lovins, was an art teacher with Hardin County Schools for 27 years and I studied under him as a student for almost as long as I was his son. At other times, your mentor is someone you never meet but inspires you from afar. Muppet creator, Jim Henson has been part of my life through his work since before I started school.
What I have learned from both their successes as well as their failures could fill a book but was summed up really well in an opinion piece by Sims Wyeth for Inc. magazine:
- Encourage a person’s talent. Nurture that talent, and motivate people to look to themselves for ongoing development.
- Be a teacher. Empower the people who work with you.
- Be patient. You are developing people, not showing how smart you are.
- Create an infectious mood of laughter. Yes–you can do serious creative work and have fun at the same time. The Muppets demonstrate that over and over again.
- Hear the genius in people. Find a way to make others’ ideas work.
- Treat failures as experiments. Take setbacks as lessons on the way to something great.
- Love your work. But also like and appreciate the people who are sharing it with you.
- Enjoy success. Not just your own, but also the accomplishments of people around you. Helping them be great does not diminish you.
- Be unafraid. Try new things – it’s the only way innovation happens, really.
- Be a role model. Be fearless, hardworking, generous, and calm. That combination of attitudes will spread and be as contagious.
Jim and my dad both passed away at the age of 53. Now at the start of my 54th year, I still strive daily to be a better person, artist and leader thanks to what I’ve learned from them and hope that I, in turn, can continue to teach what they taught me to others.
This month the PAC Kid Spotlight shines on Central Hardin High School student Ayana Roit. Ayana will next be seen on the PAC stage in Central’s October production of The Laramie Project. Learn more about Ayana and our other PAC Kids.
Congratulations to Kaylie Durham, Martha Thomas, John Butler, Sandra Bousum, Heather Oldham, Annmarie Lowe, John Heffley, Rita Johnson & Pam Fitzgerald — lucky winners of a $20 PAC gift certificates for completing their Young Frankenstein audience surveys as well as Debbie Lewis, Jessica Russo, Blake Ryan, Landon Shacklette and Laura Durhamthe for winning Young Frankenstein backstage tours in our PAC Facebook drawing. Follow the PAC on Social Media and you too could be a winner!