The Link Between Storytelling & Mentoring

The Star Wars Saga famously uses Joseph Campbell’s monomyth framework of storytelling. Sometimes called “the hero’s journey,” the protagonist begins with a “Call to Adventure,” and proceeds through seventeen stages, including “Supernatural Aid.” That is, once the hero – through a few stops and starts – is committed to their quest, they are aided with a magical helper or supernatural mentor.

Think Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker. Obi-Wan trains Luke in the ways of the Force, ways that benefit Luke on his quest. Yoda appears as another mentor for Luke later in the saga.

In science fiction and fantasy movies, mentors can be wizard-like as is the case in the Star Wars Saga and the Harry Potter Series between Professor Dumbledore and Harry.

They can also be teachers or coaches as in the examples of Professor John Keating and his students in The Dead Poet’s Society and Coach Ken Carter and his basketball team in Coach Carter or Gordon Bombay and his hockey team in The Mighty Ducks.

Not to be excluded are family favorites The Karate Kid between Mr. Miyagi and Daniel and Mary Poppins between Mary Poppins and the Banks children.

We also see this mentor relationship play out in animated movies in examples such as the genie and Aladdin in Aladdin, Mushu and Mulan in Mulan, and Mufasa and Simba in The Lion King.

The fact is, mentoring is elemental to storytelling. We are primed to look for guidance and lend advice, depending on where we are in our story. Once you gain awareness of this dynamic in storytelling, you will see mentors everywhere.

See how universal mentors are by reading this list of the top 25 mentoring movies of all times from The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring.

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Mentoring Certificate Program
Where are you in your journey? UW-Green Bay offers a structured mentor training program to enable business leaders and HR professionals to maximize the benefits of mentoring for both mentor and mentee with tips for implementing, enhancing success in any field or level. Now enrolling for a virtual session in September. Certificate can be completed in three weeks. Each session is four hours long – 2 hours of self-study content and 2 hours of online live discussion and activities.

 

Assisted Living Summer Camp

As things returned to more normal, Evergreen Place Assisted Living in Champaign, Illinois, brought back their summer camp for residents, an annual event, designed for residents and staff to grow closer and be “kids at heart” together.

This year’s theme is “Break Out of the Outbreak,” and every day started with a mock “press release,” previewing the day’s activities, which included watching funny YouTube videos, games, games, arts and crafts, singsong, a staff canoe race, meals over the fire along with a closing campfire and awards.

“Anything you can do with a 5-year-old, you can do with a 95-year-old. With some modifications, of course,” said Evergreen’s life enrichment coordinator and camp director, Emma Jane Glick.

According Psychology Today, there is mounting evidence for the positive effects of laughter. It reduces pain, allowing us to relax with discomfort. It reduces blood sugar levels, offering relief to diabetics and nondiabetics. Most importantly, laughter brings people together, creating a sense of connection and a positive emotional climate.

Glick talked about her goals for the camp. “If we laugh every day this week, if we have fun every day, then that’s just… a great reward and that’s really a great goal of our camp.”

Laughter really is the best medicine.

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Committed to Healthy Aging

We are approaching a milestone in the aging population. By 2034 for the first time in U.S. history adults 65+ are projected to outnumber children under 18. This milestone will affect healthcare in a dramatic way, creating a demand for a new approach to healthy aging and specialized knowledge of the complex needs of older adults.

Wisconsin Caregiver Academy has created a noncredit Certificate Program in Geriatric Healthcare in order to meet this demand. The certificate comprises four core courses and two electives, including “Mental Health” and “Generations and Diversity in an Aging Society.”

The certificate is relevant to nurses, social workers or case managers. Learn how you can play a larger role in patient-centered care for older adults.

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SOURCE
WCIA/WCIX. “Residents ‘Break Out of the Outbreak’ at Evergreen Place Assisted Living.” July 14, 2021
Psychology Today. “Laughter: The Best Medicine. Hara Estroff Marano, Last Reviewed June 9, 2016

The Leadership Manifesto Challenge

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown is a #1 New York Times bestseller. In the book, Brown applies and builds on the principles from her other books — Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness — in a new context of leadership and culture-building that is “daring.”

Brown says, “One of the most important findings of my career is that daring leadership is a collection of four skill sets that are 100 percent teachable, observable, and measurable. It’s learning and unlearning that requires brave work, tough conversations, and showing up with your whole heart. Easy? No. Because choosing courage over comfort is not always our default. Worth it? Always. We want to be brave with our lives and our work. It’s why we’re here.”

Now Dare to Lead is a podcast and a dedicated hub with links to an assessment, a workbook, organization book reads and downloadable resources.

One of the available downloads is a “Daring Leadership Manifesto.” According to Merriam-Webster, a manifesto is:

a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer

This idea of putting on paper a statement of what you stand for as a company and a team is a great way to become more “daring” and leading with your whole heart.

We challenge you to adopt the Daring Leadership Manifesto or craft your own.

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Daring leadership is teachable and begins with self-awareness. Our Supervisory Leadership Certificate Program includes a diverse course curriculum that will enable you to evolve as a leader and make a difference. The program includes a core course “Develop Yourself and Others” but also covers other critical topics like “Coaching for Performance,” “Change Management,” “Supervision and Human Resource Functions,” “Interpersonal Communication,” “Helping Your Team Achieve Organizational Management,” along with a Capstone Course that integrates all the learning and knowledge. Now enrolling for the fall session, starting in August.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters was organized 100 years ago, based on mentoring. In other words, the idea that “littles” would be powerfully influenced in positive ways by “bigs.”

New CEO Artis Stevens appears on The Today Show recently to share his bold vision for the “largest one-to-one mentoring organization in the country.”

View the story on The Today Show

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Mentoring Certificate Program
If you would like to learn how to become a more valuable mentor in the workplace, UW-Green Bay offers a structured mentor training program to enable business professionals to maximize the benefits of mentoring for both mentor and mentee with tips for effective communication, strong ethical standards and an action session to leave with a framework to structure their mentoring relationship. Now enrolling for the virtual sessions in September. Certificate can be completed in three weeks. Each session is four hours long – 2 hours of self-study content and 2 hours of online live discussion and activities.

Mentoring as a Super Power

Pat Mitchell is a groundbreaking media icon, global advocate for women’s rights and co-founder and curator of TEDWoman. She is also a passionate mentor. She believes mentoring “can close the gender gap in leadership in this country and around the world.”

In her book, Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World, which is part memoir and part call to action, she connects mentoring with “being dangerous.”

“By ‘dangerous,’” says Mitchell, “I don’t mean being feared. I mean being fearless. Speaking up for truth. Showing up for one other and challenging the social construct that encourages women to complete, compare and criticize.”

As part of TED’s “How to Be a Better Human” series, she offers straightforward advice from her experience on how to show up for women and be a better mentor:

  • Being a mentor means matching your skills and interests.
  • Being a mentor takes time.
  • Being a mentor is about suggesting, not instructing.
  • Being a mentor is about asking smart questions, not having all the answers.
  • Not all mentorship ends with a sense of satisfaction.
  • You’re a mentor, not a mother.
  • Being a mentor can result in lifelong relationships that continue to nurture and empower.

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Mentoring Certificate Program
Help leading women and their sponsors show up for other women and other underrepresented communities. We offer a structured mentor training program to enable business leaders and HR professionals to maximize the benefits of mentoring for both mentor and mentee with tips for implementing, enhancing success in any field or level. Now enrolling for a virtual session in September. Certificate can be completed in three weeks. Each session is four hours long – 2 hours of self-study content and 2 hours of online live discussion and activities.

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The Institute for Women’s Leadership seeks to dismantle barriers for women and to fulfill a critical need in the region by promoting a more representative professional workforce and leadership with programs like “Women Rising” Stories from Experience” and “Rising Together: Caffeinated Conversations,” along with “Sharing Knowledge” workshops from qualified business members. For more information visit the website www.uwgb.edu/womens-leadership

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RESOURCES:
Ideas.Ted.com“Help Them Succeed.” Pat Mitchell. March 6, 2020.  

Leaders Share Life Stories

It is graduation season, and leaders in all walks of life are commonly invited to share their life lessons at graduation ceremonies, inspiring future leaders of tomorrow. These leaders may include celebrities, entrepreneurs, political change-makers and more, all with stories and life lessons to share.

Here’s an article from Teen Vogue that collects some of the most famous, featuring:

  1. Steve Jobs: Standford, 2005
  2. Michelle Obama: Tuskagee University, 2015
  3. Natalie Portman: Harvard, 2015
  4. Amy Poehler: Harvard University, 2011
  5. Meryl Streep: Barnard College, 2010
  6. David Foster Wallace: Kenyon College, 2005
  7. Barack Obama: Howard University, 2016
  8. Kerry Washington, George Washington University, 2013
  9. Conan O’Brien: Dartmouth College, 2011
  10. J.K. Rowling, Harvard, 2008
  11. Oprah Winfrey: Harvard University, 2013
  12. Joss Whedon: Wesleyan University, 2013
  13. George Saunders: Syracuse University, 2013
  14. Nora Ephron: Wellesley College, 1996
  15. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Wellesley College, 2015
  16. Admiral William H. McRaven: University of Texas at Austin, 2014

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Take a page out of these leaders’ stories. Our Supervisory Leadership Certificate Program includes a diverse course curriculum that will enable you to evolve as a leader and make a difference. The program includes a core course “Develop Yourself and Others” but also covers other critical topics like “Coaching for Performance,” “Change Management,” “Supervision and Human Resource Functions,” “Interpersonal Communication,” “Helping Your Team Achieve Optimal Organizational Management,” along with a Capstone Course that integrates all the learning and knowledge. Now enrolling for the fall session, starting in August.

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SOURCE:
Teen Vogue, “16 Best Graduation Speeches That Leave a Lasting Impression, Kristi Kellogg and Noor Brara, April 17, 2020.

The Pandemic Litmus Test for Supply Chains

Supply chains were tested by COVD-19 in ways never before experienced. How companies creatively responded and improvised in the face of changing consumer behavior, intervention of health authorities and governments point to new lessons in supply chain management, including these approaches:

How Trucking and Transportation Can Act as a Buffer

Companies that have control over boosting or downgrading trucking capacity have an advantage over companies that do not. We may see this getting higher priority as things normalize post-pandemic.

How Companies Take a More Integrated Approach

Before COVID-19, companies didn’t give worse-case scenarios a lot of attention. Worse, they regarded supply chain, production planning and risk management as separate functions with different managers in charge of each. Now we know better. Companies will not only develop reality-based risk management plans, they may also entertain allocating investment into backup or insurance capabilities. They may also emphasize an expanded view of their key suppliers to better anticipate weaknesses in the chain.

How Companies Explore New Ways to Use Automation

The pandemic revealed the benefits of automation in an environment of disruption and shortage, and it’s likely companies will use automation in new ways going forward, including the very real prospect of driverless vehicles.

How Companies Used Their Local Communities

During the pandemic, companies discovered the value of using local supply chains. Local companies were often more trustworthy and reliable business partners. Local supply chains also make a difference to consumers, which makes this continuing emphasis a double benefit.

The pandemic taught us that a company’s success is decided by how effectively it manages, controls and adapts its supply chain to prevent or mitigate unforeseen interruptions.

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Business depends on supply chain management. Our Certificate in Supply Chain Management provides exposure to logistics, transportation, packaging, operations planning, inventory management and enterprise resource planning, among other functions. Learn how to develop supply chain solutions as you increase your knowledge of how to use supply chain networks to secure, produce and deliver products to a global marketplace. Now enrolling for the fall session, starting in August.

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RESOURCES:
Entrepreneur. “Emerging Supply Chain Trends Entrepreneurs Need to Know About.” Marco Ludwig, June 16, 2021.

Entrepreneur. “Consumer Trends Demand New Supply Chain Ideas.” Philip Stoten. May 2, 2021.

Changing Leadership in the New Now

2020 has been a crucible for leadership. The world faced a crisis, and workplaces and workforces were forced to adapt. Some leaders fared better than others, creating lessons for leadership in the “new now,” as we navigate a more hybrid future.

Needed skills have shifted in three crucial ways:

  1. The need for communication shifted to a need for empathy
  2. The need for emotional intelligence shifted to a need for emotional agility
  3. The need for time management shifted to a need for context management

Empathy

No one had answers in 2020, including leadership. That meant that in order for leaders to connect and check-in with employees that had to delve a little deeper and share more than updates. The important skill set was less about communication and more about listening.

Emotional Agility

Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of and control your emotions. Emotional agility goes a little further. Agile people are not only aware of their feelings, they know how to navigate through them. As a leader, this means you are better able to affect the desired impact because you are self-aware and situation-aware.

Context Management

“Flipping” the workplace requires that leaders rethink how work gets done. In today’s more hybrid environment, leaders need to be more intentional. The work context has changed, so we collectively need to manage our time and design our days around how we work, based on what we’re working and with whom we’re working.

2021 and beyond will demand leaders who are more flexible, collaborative and creative to guide their people and companies through current – and future – challenging times.

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Our Supervisory Leadership Certificate Program includes a diverse course curriculum that will enable you to evolve as a leader and make a difference. The program includes a core course “Development Yourself and Others” but also covers other critical topics like “Coaching for Performance,” “Change Management,” “Supervision and Human Resource Functions,” “Interpersonal Communication,” “Helping Your Team Achieve Organizational Management,” along with a Capstone Course that integrates all the learning and knowledge. Now enrolling for the fall session, starting in August.

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RESOURCES:
Adobe. “New Year, New Leadership: 5 Skills Needed to Succeed in 2021. Melissa Williams. January 28, 2021.
Forbes. “Three Leadership Skill Shifts for 2021 and Beyond. Melissa Daimler. November 24, 2020.

Lessons from Female Leaders

There is a growing call for a more equal future with better representation of women as leaders.

We rally around the need to eliminate or reduce obstacles in the way of women on their paths to leadership. Yet, in a recent article in Harvard Business Review and a compelling Ted Talk, psychologist and author Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic accounts for the inequity in another way – an overabundance of incompetent men as leaders.

In fact, he advocates for more obstacles in the way of men who lack the characteristics and abilities that data has demonstrated makes for more effective leaders, which in his assessment overwhelmingly favor women.

Here are his “sexist” lessons male leaders can learn from women:

Don’t lean in when you’ve got nothing to lean in about.

Stop falling for people who lean in without the talent to back it up. Use science-based assessments to more accurately gauge attributes.

Know your own limitations. 

We live in a culture that celebrates self-belief. Although studies show women are generally less overconfident than men, their more balanced self-view means they are better able to prepare, aiding competence and performance.

Motivate through transformation. 

Women are more likely to lead with purpose than men, who tend to rely on incentive. Purpose is tied with higher levels of team engagement, performance and productivity.

Put your people ahead of yourself. 

It’s very hard to turn a group of people into a high-performing team when your main focus is yourself. Because men are generally more-self-focused than women, they are more likely to lead in a narcissistic and selfish way.

Don’t command. Empathize.

Throughout history, women have been told they are too kind and caring to be leaders, but the notion that someone who is not kind and caring is at odds with reality. In today’s workplaces, it is an imperative for leaders to establish an emotional connection with their followers.

Focus on elevating others.

Female leaders have been proven to be more likely to coach, mentor and develop their direct reports than male leaders, thus enabling them to unlock other people’s potential and promote effective cooperation on their teams.

Don’t say you’re “humbled.” Be humble.

There are well-established gender differences in humility, and they also favor women. Humility is also a trait essential to great leadership. Without humility it will be very hard for anyone in charge to acknowledge their mistakes, learn from experience, take into account other people’s perspectives, and be willing to change and be better.

Dr. Tomas calls for a larger focus on equality of talent and potential as the best gender equality intervention. The ROI of male leaders should be scrutinized as strenuously as the ROI of female leaders.

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The Institute for Women’s Leadership seeks to fulfill critical needs in the region and contribute to a more robust, broadly engaged and representative professional workforce and leadership with programs like “Women Rising” Stories from Experience” and “Rising Together: Caffeinated Conversations,” along with “Sharing Knowledge” workshops from qualified business members. For more information visit the website www.uwgb.edu/womens-leadership

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RESOURCES:
Harvard Business Review. “7 Leadership Lessons Men Can Learn from Women,” April 1, 2020.
TedXCambridge. “Why We Should be More Sexist.”
Ideas.Ted.Com. “6 Things we can learn from how women leaders have handled the pandemic,” September 24, 2020.

Depression is Not a Normal Part of Getting Older

The mental health of older Americans has been identified as a priority by key national organizations. Mental health is essential to overall health and well-being and has increasingly become part of the public health mission.

It is estimated that 20% of people aged 55 years or older experience some type of mental health concern. The most common conditions include anxiety, severe cognitive impairment, and mood disorders (such as depression or bipolar disorder).

Depression is the most prevalent mental health problem among older adults. It is associated with distress and suffering. It also can lead to impairments in physical, mental, and social functioning and can affect the course of treatment of other chronic diseases.

Older adults with depression visit the doctor and emergency room more often, use more medication, incur higher outpatient charges, and stay longer in the hospital.

Although the rate of older adults with depressive symptoms tends to increase with age, depression is not a normal part of growing older. Rather, in 80% of cases it is a treatable condition. Unfortunately, depressive disorders are a widely under-recognized condition and often are untreated or undertreated among older adults.

The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is a screening test used to identify symptoms of depression in older adults. The GDS is frequently used in acute, long-term and community settings. Depression should not be diagnosed based on the GDS, but it is often part of a comprehensive geriatric assessment because of its established reliability and validity.

The GDS is available in a long-form that consists of 30 questions, and a more commonly used short-form that has 15 questions. There is also a five-item GDS that often provides similar results to the 15 questions.

The GDS consists of yes/no questions that assess a person’s level of enjoyment, interest, social interactions and more, with a focus on questions that distinguish older adults from younger populations.

A point is given for each answer that indicates depression. On the 15-question form, a score of over five points indicates a need for follow-up evaluation, while a score of over 10 almost always indicates depression.

The development of the GDS was funded by the Federal government and is free to use. According to multiple research studies, both the long and the short form GDS are quite accurate at identifying depression in older people.

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15-Question GDS

Choose the best answer for how you have felt over the past week:

1. Are you basically satisfied with your life? YES / NO

2. Have you dropped many of your activities and interests? YES / NO

3. Do you feel that your life is empty? YES / NO

4. Do you often get bored? YES / NO

5. Are you in good spirits most of the time? YES / NO

6. Are you afraid that something bad is going to happen to you? YES / NO

7. Do you feel happy most of the time? YES / NO

8. Do you often feel helpless? YES / NO

9. Do you prefer to stay at home, rather than going out and doing new things? YES / NO

10. Do you feel you have more problems with memory than most? YES / NO

11. Do you think it is wonderful to be alive now? YES / NO

12. Do you feel pretty worthless the way you are now? YES / NO

13. Do you feel full of energy? YES / NO

14. Do you feel that your situation is hopeless? YES / NO

15. Do you think that most people are better off than you are? YES / NO

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Committed to Healthy Aging

We are approaching a milestone in the aging population. By 2034 for the first time in U.S. history adults 65+ are projected to outnumber children under 18. This milestone will affect healthcare in a dramatic way, creating a demand for a new approach to healthy aging and specialized knowledge of the complex needs of older adults.

Wisconsin Caregiver Academy has created a noncredit Certificate Program in Geriatric Healthcare in order to meet this demand. The certificate comprises four core courses and two electives, including “Mental Health” and “Generations and Diversity in an Aging Society.”

The certificate is relevant to nurses, social workers or case managers. Learn how you can play a larger role in patient-centered care for older adults.

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SOURCE
Center for Disease Control. “The State of Mental Health and Aging in America.”
Verywell Mind. “Overview of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS.” Esther Heerema, MSW, January 28, 2020.