Mentor Sheila Spangler
Story Norris Krueger, PhD  Photo Kimberlee Miller

Thanks for all the great responses to the first iteration of “Meet the Mentors” in Greenbelt Magazine – I am grateful, the mentors are grateful and Idaho Media’s advertisers are grateful! In keeping with their enthusiastic coverage of Boise’s great innovators, we are expanding coverage to the great innovators in and around Eagle! Like the others, you may not know the mentors we showcase in and around Eagle… but you should.

This month, please meet Sheila Spangler who parlayed her diverse business background into great success with the Women’s Business Center along with Karen Appelgren. Sheila and Karen started the Business Resource Center at Zions Bank, then Sheila felt the entrepreneurial bug, again, and returned to business brokerage a couple of years ago.
Most recently, Sheila became a Chair for Vistage, an international organization that creates and facilitates peer advisory boards for CEOs, business owners, and executives to improve performance through confidential, agenda-free advice. Think of the “mastermind group” model with focused issue resolution, peer accountability, and one-to-one executive coaching with a badass leader. Like Sheila.

Please meet the incredible Sheila Spangler, a no-nonsense mentor and adviser who has already contributed significantly to the Boise entrepreneurial ecosystem, both visibly and behind the scenes. Enjoy!

What makes a good mentor? A bad mentor?
A mentor is someone who holds up a mirror and helps us realize things about ourselves that we couldn’t see before. “Good” or “bad” depends upon your perspective. A mentor is someone who helps you dive deep to uncover and eliminate those limiting beliefs that hold you back from achieving what you want. Good mentors ask deep, provocative questions that make you pause and really think about your opinions, behavior, and values. With a good mentor, you’ll find your own answers and you’ll be glad you did.

What should I know/ask/do to see if a mentor is good for me?
Does the mentor challenge your answers to her questions? Are you slightly uncomfortable answering some of the mentor’s questions? Does the mentor care about your well-being? Do you complete any assigned ‘homework’ before meeting with your mentor or do you procrastinate? If you procrastinate, what makes you afraid of doing the work? Does the mentor gently confront you when you don’t follow through on the action items you promised to do? Does the mentor ask if you are open for an observation about your behavior? If so, do you answer affirmatively or do you prefer to keep your head in the sand and live in the status quo? If your answer is the latter, then you aren’t ready for a mentor.

What do mentees really need to know (and do)?
A mentee needs to clearly think about the reasons he or she is seeking a mentor. If you want someone to tell you what you want to hear, that’s not the purpose of a mentor. A mentor may or may not agree with you. Are you ready to really hear, commit to making changes, and be accountable for your actions? If you answer yes to these questions, then seek out a mentor or mentors in the specific areas you are seeking improvement whether that is business management, leadership development, startup, exit planning, financing, or personal growth.

How do we grow good mentoring in Idaho?
What qualities make a good counselor, guide, or mentor? Are mentors grown or do they appear when you seek them out? Sometimes a mentor may not believe they are a mentor. Mentoring skills include listening and asking questions to understand the situation. A mentor may introduce you to others that can provide you with some needed resources. A good mentor tends to be inclusive and cooperative knowing that many viewpoints can give you a deeper understanding. Then you must make your own decisions because you are the only one that must live with them! Things that we focus on tend to grow.

What is one thing that each of us can do to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem?
We can be thankful that we live in a community that offers resources for entrepreneurs to start, grow, and succeed in business. Creating new entrepreneurs is a good and exciting thing. Existing local businesses that have flourished beyond the startup stage provide the bulk of jobs, innovation, and stability for our community. Many of these business owners would like to continue to grow, prosper, and help build our community.

Sheila Spangler








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