But I've had many that were just for a season. Natural things happen; they move away, retire, or get busy—life changes. Other times, UMG’s priorities have changed, and we need bigger thinking or different expertise.
It’s always hard to lose that because you develop a friendship. But I keep in contact with them, if infrequently. They helped you in the beginning; they're still over there for you. The right mentor will say, “I can't help you on this, but I can recommend somebody.”
What needs are long-term mentors filling, needs that haven’t changed?
I have one that I've been meeting once a month for about eight years now. No matter the situation, work or personal, he boils it down like, “Ramon, in this situation, what is the expectation you have for yourself? What do you expect from them, and what do they expect from you?”
It could be a negotiation for a thousand-dollar project, or it could be a negotiation for a million dollar one. He keeps me focused on those, on the fundamentals.
What are some emotional issues you didn’t expect to deal with as a leader?
I think the big thing in our industry is when clients leave. It feels like a sour note, right? Like, what did we do wrong? I learned that the same way that you get a new client, that beautiful process of onboarding and kickoffs, you need to have that same attitude toward the end. I tell team members that I open the door for this client, and we all work on it, then I’m the one closing it. I’m always the last one.