I was coming home from the gym the other day and listening to an oldies station. I hate to admit it, but for me the music died a few years after Don McLean’s song. The station played Lulu’s “To Sir With Love”. If you have not experienced a school system where your “guidance counselor” is one of your teachers assigned at the beginning of high school it isn’t easy to really comprehend the full impact of the lyrics of the song. There is a very strong bond that is created by the class and that teacher over the four or five years of secondary education. However, the one thing that clearly comes through with the lyrics is that “Sir” (Sidney Poitier’s character Mark Thackeray) was far more than just a teacher in a public school to these kids. These teachers are true mentors and over the years teach their classes many life lessons.
What the heck does that have to do with parking?? Simple. Any of us in a management role need to be mentors to help bring along those who will follow us in a management capacity. Training and education are important, don’t get me wrong. The Certified Administrator of Public Parking CAPP, is, in my opinion, the best by far educational program in the industry and I highly recommend it. The International Parking Institute and the University of Virginia partner to ensure the academic integrity of the program. Currently, Penn State has three (3) CAPP’s on its roster and a fourth will test this fall. But formal education is only part of the process. Hands on mentoring from an experienced supervisor is the catalyst that brings out the true professional in any endeavor.
As a mentor you can bring home to all your staff, including the ones you are grooming for promotion either at your place of employment or for someone else, the tools needed to run a quality program. We are all in the same industry and all of us are committed to advancing the profession. Take advantage of training opportunities as they rear their head. Your program will reap the rewards down the road.
I wish you all a very relaxing and rewarding Labor Day weekend.