What does a Yoda do

Real Yodas in the workplace and in on-on-one relationships function in a way that is very different from the patterns I described yesterday.

Real Yodas start with the young yedi knight…

The people I have known who functioned like true mentors always put their apprentice first.  They may have had their own agendas, anxieties, responsibilities, and frustrations — but they set those aside to give their full attention to the person they were mentoring.

Real Yodas find a place for young Jedi to grow…

They looked for places where their apprentice would grow.  The agenda wasn’t a matter of getting a job done or one of hazing.  They thought developmentally about the needs of their apprentice, they looked for experiences that would contribute to their growth.

Real Yodas share their wisdom.

They didn’t use what they knew to manipulate or control.  They shared it with their apprentices.  In that way they prepared their apprentices and preserved a growing body of knowledge.

Real Yodas walk with their apprentices and find themselves with friends.

Launching an apprentice was only half of the work.  Caring enough to walk with them through life and encourage them mattered as much as the early stages of the relationship.  The gift in it for Yodas was the apprentice became a friend and peer.

About Frederick Schmidt

The Reverend Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt, Jr. holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, and directs the Rueben Job Institute for Spiritual Formation. He is an Episcopal Priest, spiritual director, retreat facilitator, conference leader, writer, and consulting editor at Church Publishing in New York. He is the author of numerous published articles and reviews, as well as several books: A Still Small Voice: Women, Ordination and the Church (Syracuse University Press, 1998), The Changing Face of God (Morehouse, 2000), When Suffering Persists (Morehouse, 2001), in Italian translation: Sofferenza, All ricerca di una riposta (Torino: Claudiana, 2004), What God Wants for Your Life (Harper, 2005), Conversations with Scripture: Revelation (Morehouse, 2005), Conversations with Scripture: Luke (Morehouse, 2009), and The Dave Test (Abingdon, 2013). He and his wife, Natalie (who is also an academic and an Episcopal priest), live in Highland Park, Illinois, with their Gordon Setter, Hilda of Whitby. They have four children and four grandchildren: Henry, Addie, Heidi, and Sophie.


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