Jocelyn Dart’s SAP Mentor Journey – Wanting SAP to be Great
SAP Mentor nominations can be made year-round. The current deadline for this round is March 1st. More details can be found here. A common question is how do you become a SAP Mentor? See Colleen’s story here. See Moya’s story here. See Raquel Cunha’s story here. Now this is Jocelyn’s story.
Before starting the questions, please see Jocelyn’s Mentor Minute video from 2015:
She says in this video it is about leadership advocacy, sharing knowledge, and wanting SAP to be great.
Q: How did you become a Mentor
A: I think of my mentor journey as beginning in the late 1990s – about 15 years before I formally became a mentor. At that time the Mentor program didn’t exist yet. I was teaching SAP Business Workflow, which was very new at the time, and I was very excited when Sue Keohan (the original Workflow Goddess and another of our Mentors) started an international mailing list where people using Workflow could ask questions and exchange knowledge.
The workflow mailing list even pre-dated SDN – the predecessor of our current SAP Community Network – existed. At that time there was no good way to share knowledge or even ask questions let alone get answers from anyone outside of SAP Support unless you knew them personally or happened to stumble across someone at a conference. In the brave new world of workflow, the few people with real experience were scattered far and wide. The mailing list was an opportunity to learn from others myself who were practicing workflow in diverse organizations around the world.
But it was more than that. For me it was also my first real step into international networking – an opportunity to share my knowledge outside the confines of the classroom.
And that first step led to even more exciting opportunities – the chance to speak at conferences, and most amazingly the incredible experience of authoring the book Practical Workflow for SAP under Alan Rickayzen’s leadership. The book has now been published in 3 versions, and sold over 25000 copies, and translated into German and Japanese.
Even more amazingly – the book led to connecting with Ginger Gatling for the 2nd version, and who also initiated a push to give the royalties of the 2nd and 3rd versions to Doctors without Borders.
After a long absence from SAP TechEd I decided to attend SAP TechEd Las Vegas in 2012 and reconnected with Sue in person. Although I’d met other local Australian mentors before, this was first time I realised the extent of the program. Curiously because of the book and because by now I was speaking at conferences and publishing articles/blogs, most people I met already thought I was a Mentor. Even then it took 3 attempts before I was officially confirmed as a Mentor in the May 2014 intake.
Sue Keohan and Jocelyn – picture credit – Sue?
Q: What qualities does it take to become a mentor?
A: Apart from the Mentor Magic document itself, there are 3 qualities I see in all of our mentors:
They are open to diverse perspectives – always as willing to listen and learn as they are to are to promote their own views.
They are fearless advocates and true diplomats, both for and to SAP. When we believe something is not right, or could be improved we say so. But it’s not just about pointing out issues… it’s always with an attitude of “let’s be part of the solution”.
They share their knowledge openly and generously. The true expert never needs to fear sharing knowledge, and is quick to encourage and promote others with great ideas or techniques – even at the expense of discarding their own.
Q: How has your experience as a mentor helped you
A: Two things:
It continually challenges to open up my view perspectives far beyond the borders of SAP – and not just at a technical level or on IT topics. Learning from the example of other mentors I’ve grown my skills in empathy, playfulness, advocacy, and working with senior executives.
When you are a Mentor you are part of a family. They are friends and supporters first, and industry colleagues second. If we disagree we discuss and gently correct each other. If we see a problem we work together to resolve it.
Q: What recommendations do you have for others to become a mentor
A: Check your motives before you apply. This is not about personal glory – and certainly not about getting the T-shirt! True mentors have a genuine desire to share knowledge for mutual success.
In other words, be a mentor before you become a Mentor.
Picture credit: SAP
Thank you, Jocelyn, for sharing your story.
Do you know someone who has what it takes to become a SAP Mentor? Be sure to submit your SAP Mentor nominations by March 1st.