I've never really had a professional mentor. I certainly wish that I had, but most of what I've learned was from the streets with a lot of trial and error experimentation. I'm sure there are many others out there that find themselves in a similar circumstances. So for those mentor-less souls out there, here is a bit of what hard knocks have taught me in life.
I grew up in Mound, MN. There was a father of a schoolmate when I was growing up that was a senior executive at General Mills named Tom Nelson. As a kid, my point of reference for things that I hadn't encounter in the real-world was from TV shows. Mr. Nelson reminded my of Fred McMurray on the show, "My Three Sons." Wonderful father, caring human being and honorable above all other things. Mr. Nelson would call my home to congratulate me for making the "A" Honor Role every single time while in High School.
I assumed someday that I would be an executive like Tom Nelson and all the other executives would be like Tom Nelson.