Making the Most of Mentoring

By James Carsey

The mentee is currently regional director of loss prevention training for the same department store. She attributes her success to the mentoring she received over that two-year period.

And what happened to the Sheriff? He attended sessions with his mentor, with whom he discussed his frustration at his lack of career success in the face of what he perceived as actions that were correct and made for the best reasons.

His mentor was able to make him see how teamwork and respect play critical roles in any security team or business environment, and how abrasiveness and unilateral behavior was impeding his recognition as a skilled security professional deserving of approbation. From this, the Sheriff gained valuable insight: success would come if he learned to function as a member of the hotel team. He agreed to work on his interpersonal skills and to build relationships with his peers on the security team—something that he eventually did successfully after enrolling in a business networking class that emphasized people skills.

The Sheriff eventually went on to manage the security department, and he says now that he believes that he never would have achieved the goal without the mentoring process. The mentor, who could have refused to become involved when asked to help the Sheriff, earned not only his mentee’s respect but that of his peers. And the human resource director’s efforts validated his worth as a leader, saved his hotel money that would have been lost by replacing the Sheriff, and gave him the personal satisfaction of knowing that he helped someone truly change and thrive.

A mentor has the ability to shape the next generation of security professionals through guidance, friendship, and shared experiences. The new generation may come from security or a multitude of different backgrounds; they will be educated and credentialed in a variety of security-related topics. But they will still need mentors to chal­lenge their shortcomings and enrich them with the mentors’ own knowledge, insights, and perspectives. 


James Carsey is an assistant security director in New York City’s hospitality industry. He holds a Master’s Degree in Protection Management from City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Prior to his hospitality security position, he served in a military police unit in the U.S. Army’s Schofield Barracks, Honolulu, Hawaii. 



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