Convenience Store News - May 2018 - 48

FEATURE

"There are mentors and there are sponsors, and the difference between the two
is a mentor provides your safe environment. They take the good, bad and ugly,
and help you think it through to the other
side," Alter shared. "A sponsor is someone
you want to bring your successes to, so
they can help elevate your career. The
mentor is preparing you to bring your best
positioning to the sponsor. There is different value in both mentors and sponsors,
but each is equally valuable."
A mentor should also be clear that they
are not leading their mentee, but rather
"guiding" them as a trusted advisor. Their
role is to inspire and encourage, and be
a "truth-teller" offering honest feedback,
Treasa Bowers, vice president of human
resources at 7-Eleven Inc., based in Irving,
Texas, pointed out.
"A mentor can question the mentee in a
way that doesn't necessarily have the same
consequence as an immediate supervisor
might," Bowers explained, noting the mentor
should also understand it is a relationship
of intentionality. "They have to honor the
confidence and trust the mentee is placing
in them, and respect the vulnerability it takes
for [the mentee] to ask for support."
In her own career, Bowers said mentors
have been extremely helpful in bringing her
attention to blind spots, identifying appropriate risks she should take, and sharing
how to recover from mistakes.

What works most
effectively is not
necessarily someone
who has similar
backgrounds. ... It's
more about finding the
individual who is likely to
stretch you the most, and that
may not be someone you think
you would have the most in
common with at the time.
- Treasa Bowers, 7-Eleven Inc.

an individual, share their own work experiences to provide
guidance and help, and assist them in developing core
values to strengthen their relationships, Circle K's Rehwaldt
added. When she started in her current position years ago,
she had a mentor who influenced her decisions and guided
her to become the person she is today. Her goal now is to
help others be successful.
"I have mentored different levels in the organization,
from store managers to area managers, and mentored
my team who also mentors store managers and area
managers," she said.
Rehwaldt, who joined Circle K as part of the company's
acquisition of CST Brands Inc., designed and developed an
array of training programs for CST. She says
her "pride and joy" is the comprehensive
Management Development Program, which
provides a career path for assistant managers and store managers.

My development programs
and my personal mentoring
served as the launch point
for the careers of numerous
CST team members who have
gone on to serve as leaders in store
operations, marketing and accounting.
- Cindy Rehwaldt, Circle K

"They have also helped me pursue my
current role and aspirational assignments, with clarity and the understanding
needed to be excellent, but not always
perfect," she said.
Furthermore, a good mentor will encourage

48 Convenience Store News C S N E W S . c o m

"My development programs and my
personal mentoring served as the launch
point for the careers of numerous CST team
members who have gone on to serve as
leaders in store operations, marketing and
accounting," she said.

At Chevron Stations, Felici's mentoring
relationships have led cashiers and assistant
managers to become store managers - with
some being in the role of assistant manager
for several years before the mentoring relationship. Often,
within a year of working with Felici, they can reach the next
level in their career.
She finds watching this process a very rewarding experience.
"I've developed many people and watching that, creating a


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