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I wanted to share a story of how the SAP Mentor initiative and the whole “Pay it forward” way of thinking has actually worked for me:

It was 4 or 5 years ago now, I was working as head of an SAP team at a well known global recruitment firm and was organising an event I needed a speaker for. Trawling Linked In I stumbled upon DJ Adams who seemed a likely candidate, published author, good career record and seemed to have worked with SAP for most of his life! I noticed he was also an “SAP Mentor”, I had no idea what this was but it couldn’t be bad so I approached DJ and he agreed to do it (a great job he did as well!). A year passed and DJ got me involved in initiatives like the Manchester Google User Group and introduced me to various technologies I had never heard of before but really enjoyed getting involved with.

DJ adams.jpg

A year later and I was organising another event, I didn’t want to trouble DJ again so I hit LinkedIn / Twitter and found Mr John Appleby – Again, this chap seemed to be an industry expert, truly passionate about SAP and he was also an “SAP Mentor”. John conducted a really great talk at my event and has proved to be a solid source of advice in the months after and I still turn to him if ever I need his views on something SAP / career related.

John Appleby.jpg

Since those events I have kept in touch with both John and DJ and pursued a career with an SAP Partner 2 years ago. I attended InnoJam Madrid 2011 on DJ’s recommendation where I met lots of the other SAP Mentors like Greg Chase Marilyn Pratt Jon Reed and many others. These people really inspired me to get more involved in the wider SAP community both on SCN, with the UK SAP User Group and also with my SAP Customers and helping them to get involved too. I’m now also working with a school helping with careers advice / mentoring the students and a lot of this activity has been inspired by the SAP Mentors like DJ, John and everyone else I have met. I think it was Mark Yolton who coined the title of the film “Pay It Forward” to apply to how we work in the SAP Community.

Pay it forward.jpg

Help, inspire and coach someone else and they will pass it on. I now find myself as a newly appointed SAP Mentor, something I owe to the people who inspired me along the way and I hope I can give the same inspiration, advice and support to others. If we can all continue putting this theory in to practice then we truly have a fantastic and exciting future ahead in SAP and the wider community. Of course DJ knows I will also “Pay it back” we are at a beer festival next weekend so the drinks are on me! (some of them)

Addition to Blog 2nd October 2012: I forgot to mention Sylvia Santelli who gave me an SCN sticker (I have it on my trash bin at home) and encouraged me to blog on SCN.

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11 Comments

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  1. Susan Keohan

    Hi Tim,

    It’s great that you had the experience of such wonderful Mentors to learn from.  And I am sure you will be called on to share, inspire, and coach others within the SCN community.

    Sue

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  2. Marilyn Pratt

    Really great share Tim as it illustrates how this viral goodness moves along and also is a lovely acknowledgement of some incredibly community-mindedness.  To be “infected” one must have the willingness and probably have infectious enthusiasm as well.

    Just to set the record straight, although Mark Yolton used the theme in his keynote and it was powerful, the original idea to do so was generated by Jeanne Carboni (who quietly generates many good ideas )

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    1. Tim Guest Post author

      Thanks Marilyn and my apologies for not crediting Jeanne! I agree though, the “infectee” needs to be willing to be “infected” but part of the role of a Mentor is to spot these people and work with them. See you in Madrid hopefully

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    2. Jeanne Carboni

      Thank you for the mention, Marilyn!  I don’t need the credit.  I’m just glad the idea caught on so broadly in the Community.  Also, I highly recommend the movie.  It’s one worth watching more than once.

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  3. zimkhita buwa

    Hi Tim,

    I loved reading your blog post because it touches on one of the most important aspects of any mentor, which is providing (I’d like to quote you on this one) “inspiration, advice and support to others”. It also made me realise why you were selected as a mentor – your ability to share and inspire others seems to come naturally.

    You’ve already achieved one of your goals! As a fellow new mentor I am inspired by your positive outlook 🙂

    Thanks again for the post!

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    1. Tim Guest Post author

      Thanks for commenting, on re reading my post one word is used a lot (not intentionally) Inspiration. If someone is passionate about something they will inspire others. I look forward to meeting you some day! 🙂

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  4. Nigel James

    Great story Tim and glad that you are now part of the SAP Mentor wolfpack but sorry we didn’t get to meet before I left the UK.

    I will conspire with Graham Robinson to see how we can fly you out to Australia for an event sooner or even sooner.

    Cheers,

    Nigel 

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    1. Tim Guest Post author

      I like the idea of this, I have family in Adelaide and Darwin and friends in Perth & Sydney. Let’s keep talking!

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  5. DJ Adams

    Great account, Tim. I feel honoured to have played a part in helping you get deeper down the rabbit hole, and am proud to call you a good friend. Perhaps beer has something to do with that too, I dunno 😉

    cheers

    dj

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