I’ve always appreciated the value of mentorship programs, but their value really came home to me one night over veal chops washed down with a bottle of Cabernet. It made such an impression on me and had such a profound impact on my life that I vividly remember everything about that night in the Georgetown area of Washington, DC with the man who would become my greatest mentor.
It was early in my career. I was sales director, and I’d spent the day running sales calls with the company head of operations, John Covilli, a much more seasoned business executive. I knew I could learn a lot from his experience and success, so over a business dinner, I asked him a question I’d asked others without getting a satisfactory response: “What’s the secret sauce? What makes the difference in sales and leadership between being average and being super successful? I can’t figure it out.”
John took a sip of his wine, looked straight at me, and said, “It’s the insatiable appetite of curiosity.”