Felix Umana PT, B.Sc (Hons), MPT, CSCS
Being a Mentor and how Ted Lasso helped bring it all together
I became a clinic owner quite early in my journey as a Physiotherapist (2 years after graduating). As a result, I have been "in the forest" most of my career. Its hard to get above the canopy when you are constantly trying to put out fires and get through a mountain of tasks that seems to get bigger the more you tackle them.
It has only been very very recently in my 4th decade of life that I have been able (read: forced myself) to spend some time reflecting on the journey. Even though I have technically been a leader and mentor for many around me for years, I never really felt like one. After all mentors are successful people that have everything in life nicely wrapped together. Financially stable, perched in high positions with tons of diversified experience. I thought of myself as just part of the team, doing whatever needed to be done to keep the flywheels turning. I dispensed advice (mostly) on request but never thought of it coming from any position of experience.
Enter Ted Lasso. A show that has captivated me on so many different levels, but nothing hit home more than one single quote on the Season 2 Finale. It goes like this:
A good mentor hopes you move on, a great mentor knows you will - Higgins
As soon as I heard that line, I knew that intuitively that's what I have been doing my whole career. I've worked with extremely talented and passionate people over the years and I have never resented any of them that chose to move on to further their careers/passions. In fact, I'm always excited for them to take on new challenges and push their comfort zones. While I hope to be able to provide those opportunities of growth in my organization, I understand that it's not always possible.
I've realized that being a good mentor is understanding that people will pass through your life and its much more important to be kind and supportive of their journeys rather than trying to keep everyone at your side. Being a great mentor is trying to prepare those around you to go farther than you have been. As a father of 2 children, I realize that when you treat those around you like family, it results in a work place that feels like home for anyone that has passed through on their journey. I endeavor to have Umana Health always feels like a second home to those that have passed through and will continue to pass through in the years to come.