Mentoring Week Bonus – A Conversation with Steve Coleman, Senior Area Sales Director Endovenous at Medtronic: Mentoring and Power of 5 Groups

 In Podcast

Join me today for our fourth installment of our mentoring series. Today I am talking to Steve Coleman, Senior Area Sales Director End0venous at Medtronic.

We discussed the benefits of mentoring and the Power of 5 groups at Medtronic, how to reach out to mentors you admire and best practices in starting these new relationships.

  • Mentoring and leadership development within Medtronic, and Power of Five groups at Medtronic focusing on professional growth and development through small self-led groups.
  • Mentoring, leadership, and career development.
  • Commitment to advancing women in leadership positions, citing a turning point where they realized the importance of having a supportive network of women in their industry.
  • Unconscious bias and mentorship in the workplace.
  • Mentorship opportunities and networking at Medtronic.
  • The importance of asking for help and making connections, even if it means reaching out to someone who may not be able to meet your immediate needs.
  • Career development and networking.


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Transcribed by OtterAi with minimal edits:

You are listening to the It’s Your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Bourque. In today’s episode, I’m sharing another bonus mentoring series episode and today we’re speaking with Steve Coleman, senior area Sales Director endovenous at Medtronic, and we’re discussing mentoring and the power of five.

0:19 Oh, welcome to the richer time Podcast, the podcast where busy professionals like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule. So you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place. 

0:43 Hello, hello, hello. Welcome back to the podcast friends. Today I have another exciting conversation to share with you around mentoring. And as part of this bonus series, this episode is focused on the benefits of being in a power of five group at Medtronic. Now again, this project has been done in collaboration with the Aspire team at Medtronic and references an amazing group opportunity. But I really want you to still continue listening even if you are not part of the company. Because as you listen to Steve talk, you might get a whisper of an idea of maybe starting something similar in your own company, something that might help your career in a way that works best for you. So first, let me give you a quick little bit of insight as to who we are talking to. And then I will give you an overview of the program. I have to tell you, I feel so fortunate with all of these guests this week. And especially with Steve Coleman, because I have worked with Steve for a couple of years. He is the senior area sales director within endovenous at Medtronic and I would say probably it’s been around five years that we have been part of this power of five group together. He is our leader and I serve as the team coordinator. And we have so much fun doing it. We have had awesome people go through and even currently this year, as part of our group now, what is the power of five you might ask the objective of this group is to empower and enable commitment, passion and opportunity amongst Medtronic, women and men through consistent self led small groups. So basically, we focus on shared experiences and expertise in a way that fosters professional growth and development. So again, even if you are not part of Medtronic, you can make up a group like this for yourself, each group makes up their own agenda. And for us, specifically, you will hear Steve mentioned in the interview, we like to decide as a team what the year looks like, like what does everyone want to get out of this opportunity? So that is a question to think of if you are looking to do a group outside of Medtronic, what is the intention? I feel like we should all be asking ourselves that every day right? No matter what we’re doing group or no group, what is the intention. And if you are interested in learning more specifically about the Medtronic power of five please. And again, this is with every episode in this series, do not hesitate to reach out, it is really such a great opportunity to learn more things like leading from any place, networking and connection, book clubs, podcasts, work life balance, career opportunities, Strength Finders, there are just so many opportunities for professional development within this group. And I would encourage you, I highly encourage you to please learn more reach out. And listen. Groups like these give you exposure to Medtronic leadership, you have a chance to showcase your leadership, you gain more visibility in the organization. And maybe the best part is it truly allows you to build lasting relationships. So without further ado, please take a listen. Thank you so much for being here. This is going to be so much fun. Can you start by introducing yourself in a way that you see most fit? share all of the goodness?

You bet. Thanks, Michelle. God, we’ve worked together for years. This is This is so fun to be formally interviewed by you. It’s kind of neat. So how would I introduce myself? I mean, look, I you know, the typical I’ve been at Medtronic on my 17th year. Unknown Speaker 4:22 But to tell you a little bit about me, like I’m, I’m a husband, I’m, I’m a father. Unknown Speaker 4:28 I’m a community, person, my community matters. Unknown Speaker 4:33 And love, love, love the opportunity to pay it forward professionally. I’m a pure play sales leader. I have been in sales 2027 years, most of it in leadership. And just love the fact that I have I have found my place in the in the quote unquote professional world as as a sales leader. And that’s that’s how I introduce my fans. Unknown Speaker 4:58 That is awesome. And now this

5:00 Siri, specifically, we’re talking about mentoring. So maybe can you just share a little bit about why you think mentoring is important, and maybe even a little bit about your journey through those 17 years, whatever the good, the bad, the ugly, whatever seems appropriate? You bet. Right? Right, that the African proverb writers want to go fast go alone. And if you want to go far go together. Unknown Speaker 5:21 I just think that mentoring is such a together Unknown Speaker 5:25 function, that that allows two people to benefit, right? Sometimes we think of mentoring only as the individual who’s being mentored. But the person mentoring himself benefits just just as much, if not more, Unknown Speaker 5:41 you know, I look at I look at my journey, and I look, you know, early in my career to have the opportunity to be mentored by individuals. Unknown Speaker 5:51 You know, you know, Jeanne has well, Gil Salem being Bill Hague, right, that’s when I was in a completely different industry. And they really helped me

6:03 better myself, and realize that there was more than just, you know, the day to day what I thought I wanted to do. And then as I got into my career, you know, at at Venus slash comedian, slash Medtronic, and the 17 years, I’ve been here, to have other individuals, you know, mentor me, but then at one point in time, have that turning point. And realize, Wow, this is so great. It’s time to help others, right. And as others start to approach you, or you realize, oh, man, if I if I could just have a little more one on one time, if they’re open to it with with that individual or those individuals, how great would it be to kind of pay it forward, like, like, was paid for with me, you know, back back when I was younger, and in my career or didn’t know, I wanted to be a leader yet. And to have maybe, maybe help others who want to be leaders or haven’t realized that they have that leadership potential yet. So it’s that’s kind of been my my journey first being mentored. But then, being a mentor was a really quick pivot when I realized it was it was time. 

7:05 Yeah, and I see you volunteering to help mentor so many people, like you mentioned, we’ve worked together for years, and specifically through the power of five group here at Medtronic. So can you maybe touch on? I mean, I might be biased, but I think you’re one of the best leaders that we have. So maybe why you keep showing up year after year? And what your thoughts are on the benefits of having groups like this for employees? Yeah, I mean, power of five. We were so lucky, right? We grabbed on early right when it started. And 

7:36 first of all, it’s it’s it’s five, it’s five individuals, five women who want to, quote unquote, be a part of the mentor group who wants to be mentored individually, right. There’s such a desire there, which I think is the most important thing in that is that there’s a willingness to lean for there. There’s a willingness to go all in. I think it was successful and has been successful for us. Because we we genuinely care about this group. Right? I think that you and I, this isn’t a checkmark in a box. We work together we we we asked them you know, what, what are you looking for to get out of this? We’re very structured, we gain resource for them. Everyone shows up, everyone goes all in but then my favorite part is the sidebars. Right. You look through the years, the number of one on one conversations power of five has afforded me or one on one mentorship. I mean, think think how many of those those women have become leaders themselves? Right? And it’s so great that that power of five allows us the opportunity to have that baseline group togetherness and mentoring. But all the one offs are we’re, you know, kind of the the rubber hits the road. And that’s, that’s the biggest benefit. I think that it is, again, clearly those being mentored, hopefully had benefit. But I think you and I secretly, we get pretty charged by seeing their success as well. Unknown Speaker 9:04 Yeah, absolutely. And I’ve heard you tell a couple of different stories about kind of your reasoning behind helping advance women in leadership positions. Do you think there’s like a story or a turning point that you can think of that really has pushed you to be so committed to this? Yeah. You’ve you know, this and it’s a vulnerability, but I’ll give it to you. Right.

9:27 You know, it’s interesting, I attended, I attended when I first got to match my GS when they were acquired about 910 years ago, I attended an adn meeting. And 

9:38 and the gentleman who spoke was, I believe the chief diversity and inclusion officer from General Mills. And he did such a great job of helping us realize what unconscious bias was right? And I realized again, this was over. This was a decade ago. I’m looking at looking at right now. I realized, sadly, I had been quoted Unknown Speaker 10:00 In quote, managing or treating, or mentor my own children differently Unknown Speaker 10:06 based on unconscious bias, I, you know, I have a son who’s my oldest and two daughters. And 

10:14 I was I was mentoring my son in a manner that you can do this, and you can do this and you can do this. And my daughter’s going a different path. And I realized, shame on me. My daughters have the same if not way more skill sets than my son does. And I remember calling my wife and I was pretty emotional that I mean, they were kids, right? I mean, you’ll this might my son 16, at the time, my daughter’s 14, my other daughter is 12. And I was like, I was emotional, I was actually on a treadmill kind of walking and talking, and just kind of broke down and said, I I can be, I can be better I can, I can be better for our girls, and not quote unquote, pour so much into into our son. And it also pivoted very quickly at work, right when when I came to Medtronic, the difference between diversity and inclusion at Medtronic, right and it Covidien were night and day. And it was so great to be able to then quickly be a part of ASPIRE and to go to aspire, and see that we can be involved in power of five and, and help, you know, senior senior leadership sponsor, you know, a land group and all these things that we’ve been able to do. That was my changing point, when I realized that I had the opportunity, because we’re not conscious bias to change in my own personal life. And it changed me professionally, you know, it’s helped me grab on and really want to mentor other other people, other than just, you know, those that fell in my, my unconscious bias. And and it’s happened, right? I mean, I can, I can countless, not countless, but but quite a few people who who’ve been mentored that are, you know, part of Aspire or, or women leaders. And Unknown Speaker 11:58 it’s, it’s great that that changed me. And I’m so grateful for the opportunity that Medtronic actually provided, you know, that kind of shocked me into, hey, I need to change. So. Unknown Speaker 12:08 Yeah, I think that’s such a great story. And and I think you’ve touched on a couple of things. Like, I feel like in order to be mentored, right, we need to have the willingness to show up for ourselves. And that kind of seems to be a theme talking to other folks too, like owning your mentorship. And also the point that you make about self awareness. I think we all have some sort of unconscious bias. Just like the way society tells women, right, like be nice, or you know, be seen not heard kind of things like that. So even as I think the mentee, we need to be aware of what we think we have been programmed to believe and like, step out of that and be like, what else is possible? Who else can I reach out to? But if people are intimidated, like, what would you suggest? If someone’s looking at someone at your level? And thinks, oh, I don’t know if I can reach out to him and ask for this? How would you give them advice, I guess, on where to start? Absolutely. I think it’s funny, you know, we think, Oh, I couldn’t reach out to a person at her level or his level. Remember, that individual at one point in time was in the exact same spot. You as someone who wants to be mentored was at right, no matter where you’re at in your career. I mean, even if you’re brand new, if you’re a couple years in, if you’re five years in, if you’re already a manager, heavens, if you’re already a director, or a VP, there’s somebody else who’s in a spot. That is has been where you are right now is you even listen to this, right? your struggles, your challenges, your strengths, your opportunities, your wins. There’s other people who’ve been through that, that, that if if you want to have a connection, I think to your question, as how do you approach them just approach them? Right? I can tell you right now unequivocably, I look at the VP for whom I’ve worked at Medtronic, I look at my co directors in my division and others and other senior directors. I don’t know of a single person where if someone says, Hey, can I get 30 minutes on your calendar? does not find the opportunity, right? I mean, case in point climb, right? I had the opportunity and love participating in our climb program. I invite every time I’m I’m honored enough to be invited you guys, please, please get on my schedule. And I’ve never said no. And I will tell you, I just don’t think there’s there’s a GM VP, Director, anywhere where if you politely asked, Can I get 30 minutes on your schedule to talk about career development? To talk about mentorship to talk about a specific subject. It may they may put it out a little bit for timing reasons, you know, it might not be the next day. But no, no, I’m just telling you that’s I think that’s the secret. Hey, can I just get on your calendar and then you make that connection and to your earlier point. Unknown Speaker 15:00 It’s up to the mentor, II, right? To really take the ball right to follow up on the assignments given or on a projects given along the informal asks and say, Hey, can we follow up on X days and then follow up track that, that person down your to your first two or three calls? Maybe super informal. And then all of a sudden, there may be an asset on either side of hey, you know, you weren’t you want to get the we should have a mentorship, you know, relationship? Or what do you think, Okay, let’s go or vice versa. So just ask the question. And please don’t be afraid to be a little vulnerable and realize at one point in time, that person that you think is at that level, they just couldn’t have time for you, they absolutely could have time for you. Unknown Speaker 15:46 It is so delightful to hear that because I have to tell you, I think every single person that’s been interviewed for this series has said the same thing like ask and someone will find the time like Medtronic, folks in leadership positions will put you on the calendar. If they can’t, for some reason, like you mentioned timing, they will suggest another person that might be just as beneficial. That’s a great point. Because what happens in that initial conversation or two, sometimes you start to see strengths are opportunities to grow, where you know, someone as a peer who can help that individual more than you can. Right. And you never, you never would have had access to that. Had you not just had that that initial, you know, half hour or hour or a couple of conversations. So yeah, we’re trust us. We are we are all in to help out. We really are.

16:35 Yeah, I think it’s so important to remember, as far as networking in general, it may not be the initial person you reach out to, but all the people around that person. And if you don’t have the communication, and the conversation about what your goals are, people can’t read our minds, right, we need to be able to have these conversations in order to accomplish the goals that we’re looking for. Yeah, yeah. And you have to put yourself out there, right? You can’t you can’t wait for it. And it’s hard to do, right? We live in our little islands, we have projects, we’re in charge of or, or AOP that we have to hit or, you know, all these things. And sometimes you just you got to take your breath, and you got to be like, Okay, next week, who am I going to reach out to that I’ve that’s been kind of in the back of my mind or not at my heartstrings, or in my gut, that I just know, I need to make a connection with just take a minute and send the invite, and it will happen crazy enough, it will happen. It will happen. This has been so much fun. Have we missed anything. I love what you said about power of five and having it not just be the group part that we do that’s very structured, but also the one offs and the benefits that we all receive from being able to have that ability to reach out on the side. Yeah. Again, we’re, I’m biased just because I’ve loved you know, being a part of the spires and petrify for so many years. And but but I would I would tell you that across across every ERG, we have i There are mentorship

18:06 opportunities that are formalized in some way shape, or form. Your HR, your HR partner has things that are that are very helpful from a mentor perspective. And I think if anybody’s listening to this, and is maybe, you know, a manager or director and hasn’t mentored yet, which I would imagine is rare. But if it hasn’t yet, same thing, right? Reach out to an erg and be like, Hey, how can how can I help? Trust trust me, they’ll put you to work. Right? So Unknown Speaker 18:37 that’s about it. Now it’s Michelle, I think I think you’re great. I love your energy. It’s It’s such an honor to even be considered to be interviewed for something like this. But it does matter. You know, I think it’s important. You know, one of my favorite characters is a guy by the name of harmonious Bosch he’s he’s from a Michael Connelly series of books. And he has a saying it’s everyone matters, or nobody matters. And I think it’s important that that we remember everybody around us matters. And as we go through our journey, and there’s times when when when we realize our unconscious bias or realize our fears, just step in and overcome them. Right. Just Just lean in. And, and we have such an opportunity here at Medtronic. So Michelle, thanks so much for spending time with me, means a ton. And I think it’s important that people know they can get a hold of us, you know, I’m, I’m available on teams, I’m available on LinkedIn. If you want some time on my calendar, I will make that time I really will. And again, others will as well. So Michelle, thanks so very, very much. Awesome. Thank you so much. Okay, wasn’t that great? I cannot reiterate enough. If you want to connect with Steve for short, reach out, he is always willing to help. And I would say once again, from this episode, some of the takeaways and I would say it actually seems to be a theme all week here. Unknown Speaker 20:00 And I promise you that the guests had no idea what each other were talking about. But the takeaways, number one, you own your career. You need to be the one to reach out and to ask for help. And that is the best news ever, right? People also want to be helping you so you are in charge of your career, great to know and people want to help you. Also great to know. It’s like a match made in heaven, right? Okay, friends, we have one more episode tomorrow. I’m super excited to put a bow on this series for you. So please make sure you listen tomorrow as I share a conversation with Phoebe Swan around mentoring and Global Inclusion, Diversity and Equity. But for now, make it a great day. Take care Unknown Speaker 20:52 Did you know you can take this work to a deeper level with me one on one. Go to MichelleBourque and click on get started to begin


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