American Idol’s Lesson In Mentorship

ABC’s American Idol may be a strange place to find an example of perfect mentorship, but stay with me here.

Rachel Platten, a world class singer, songwriter and performer, doesn’t withhold or “dumb down” her talent in this duet she does with her 15-year-old mentee. Although she still takes the lead at times on this famous song that she wrote, she still “makes room” for her mentee to shine.

Mara Justine, the mentee, is encouraged by Rachel throughout their performance, and Mara’s success is clearly much of Rachel’s focus.

Most importantly, if you listen to the conversation afterwards, Rachel learned about her mentee before hand, learned where she needed to improve, then rearranged her song to best both teach and showcase Mara. She is clearly rooting for her the whole time and is so excited to see her succeed.

Enjoy this song – I certainly do. And although I admittedly had no idea who Rachel Platten was before, she’s certainly gained a fan in me.

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Rachel demonstrates the exact kind of mentor I strive to be.

What are the examples out there that you see? What does great mentorship look like to you? I look forward to your comments!

David Barlaam has been recruiting for more than 20 years and has spent the last decade successfully designing, implementing and executing top-notch talent acquisition programs. He has built several global recruiting organizations and has led more than 100 people in teams around the globe. Barlaam won the 2014 Cleveland SHRM Talent Management Award and has attained certification from AIRS® in all areas of recruiting, and has attained certification for Certified Internet Recruiter, Certified Diversity Recruiter, Certified Social Sourcing Recruiter and Advanced Certified Internet Recruiter, along with Professional Certified Recruiter certification in 2012. In November 2012, he earned AIRS’s prestigious Elite Certified Recruitment Expert with a near perfect score.

Barlaam has specialized in internalizing, developing, and leading global talent acquisition in Fortune 500 companies, hiring anywhere between 2,000 and 18,000 employees per year in more than 120 global locations, and in doing so, greatly reducing headhunter use and expense.  He has also led several successful multilingual Applicant Tracking System implementations and employment branding / web strategy redesigns. David believes that Talent Acquisition is truly the most important supply chain in any organization, and spends his time focusing on how to improve the process for both the organizations and applicants impacted.

David currently resides in Miami, FL with his wife Holly, their two young daughters, and their golden doodle. He loves music, sports, gaming, and technology.





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