Seven Bosses on the Best Way to Groom Junior Staff

Seven kind bosses on the best ways to groom junior staff

Illustration: Hudson Christie

“In my first entrepreneurial venture, we had great ideas but ran out of cash, so I love giving creatives the tools to survive. I expose our design director to all aspects of the company, encouraging her to articulate her vision in a way businesspeople can understand.”
Blythe Harris
Chief creative officer, Stella & Dot

“My strategy has been to develop three or four junior team members into next-generation leaders. Through one-on-one sessions and lunches, I discuss their professional and personal dreams and share my own experiences. The only downside of being a good mentor is that your mentee may one day take your job.”
Jose Costa 
President, Maaco

“I always say no one ever got fired for asking for more. And you manage your boss, not the other way around. (I am going to regret this.)”
Mike Sheldon
Chief executive officer, Deutsch North America

“I recommend partnering with a college. I worked with Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising students in their final years, and now we recruit from there. It’s been energizing.”
Karen Kane
Owner, Karen Kane

“We hold constructive feedback sessions within our teams, which allows everyone to contribute. That nurtures younger employees as entrepreneurs, since they can see what’s going on and ask questions about strategy.”
Scott Dietzen
CEO, Pure Storage

“I mentor a lot but lately am spending countless hours with my staff learning from them. It’s essential to be surrounded by inspiring people who fill knowledge gaps and help the company excel.”
Thomas Steinemann
Owner, DuBois & Fils

“As a lawyer for startups, I often advise CEOs on financings, mergers, and IPOs. They range from twentysomething programmers who exist on Red Bull to 70-year-olds. I need to understand their business inside and out, so the mentorship is a two-way street.”
Craig Jacoby
Partner, Cooley

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