Creating a Culture of Mentoring

missy chicre ceo, lynn sontag owner, solveig brown podcast host

Lynn Sontag, Menttium’s owner, and Missy Chicre, Menttium’s CEO help us kick off International Women’s Day with this inspiring episode. Lynn and Missy share their powerful stories of learning, growth, and surprises during this year of leadership transition. They role-model a transformative mentoring partnership and offer authentic acknowledgments to each other. They also reveal their visions for the future of Menttium.

Creating a Culture Where People Can Show Up as Their Whole Selves

At Menttium, fostering an inclusive and supportive cultural atmosphere is at the core of what we do. This process begins with clearly defined organizational values, which we not only articulate but also embody and reinforce daily. These values serve as our north star, guiding us through challenges and ensuring consistency in our mission.

Defining and Embodying Values

The foundation of our cultural atmosphere lies in our values. Over the past few years, we’ve put considerable effort into explicitly defining these values and ensuring they are not just words on paper. Instead, we strive to express, model, and reinforce them consistently. When times get tough, as they inevitably do, our values provide the direction we need.

Adapting to the Work Environment

In today’s ever-changing work environment, many organizations are still navigating the best approach, whether it’s hybrid, fully remote, or in-office work. At Menttium, we emphasize flexibility and well-being alongside productivity. Our hybrid approach and flexibility are personally important to me, as I believe that giving people the space to design their lives leads to high performance and effectiveness.

Fostering Flexibility and Well-being

We offer various benefits to support our team’s well-being, such as shutting down the office during the holiday week in December for a wellness week, which we started a few years ago. We also implement summer hours, allowing our team to enjoy the short Minnesota summers. These small, day-to-day actions create space for our team to design the lives they want, blending work and personal life harmoniously.

Menttium’s Commitment to Accelerating Women’s Careers

Menttium’s mission has always been to help women thrive in the corporate arena. We focus on mentoring high-potential women, helping them excel in their careers. This commitment extends to creating inclusive work cultures where women’s careers can flourish, and their achievements are celebrated.

Supporting Women through Mentoring

Menttium’s history and tradition are deeply rooted in supporting women’s career growth. Since our founding in 1991, we’ve aimed to break the glass ceiling for women, initially focusing on mentoring women in executive leadership positions. Over the years, we’ve expanded our programs to include men and women, targeting key talent at various levels.

Inspiring Inclusion

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Inspire Inclusion.” Through our mentoring offerings, we strive to help our clients create workplaces where people feel included, belong, and can be authentic. We believe that achieving gender parity and inclusion requires the collective effort of everyone, not just women.

Reflecting on a Year of Transition

This year marked a significant transition for Menttium, and it has been a year of growth and learning for both Lynn as the owner and the organization. Despite the challenges, the transition exceeded Lynn’s expectations, thanks to the intentionality and support  fostered within our team.

Learning and Accountability

Stepping into a leadership role comes with a different level of accountability. It’s one thing to prepare for the role, but another to actually be in it. The level of responsibility Missy feel towards the mission, team, mentees, mentors, and clients is profound. Balancing the strategic and tactical aspects of running a small business has been a continuous learning process.

Mentorship and Support

Throughout this transition, the mentorship and support from Lynn to Missy have been invaluable. Lynn’s willingness to share her experiences and learnings, while allowing Missy to make her own decisions, has been crucial in her development as a leader. This dynamic mentoring relationship exemplifies the power of trust and support in fostering growth and success.

Vision for the Future of Menttium

As we look to the future, our vision for Menttium is to continue expanding and deepening our impact through mentoring. We aim to provide more experiences, solutions, and authentic human connections.

More Through Mentoring

Our new tagline, “more through mentoring,” encapsulates our vision. We aspire to offer more experiences that are meaningful and impactful, expand our visibility and footprint, and cultivate genuine connections. By doing so, we hope to continue supporting individuals and organizations in achieving their full potential.

Connecting People Globally

With over 80,000 participants worldwide, we recognize the critical importance of connection and support in today’s world. We aim to grow and expand Menttium’s reach, connecting people who might otherwise never meet and supporting each other in profound ways. In conclusion, Menttium’s commitment to creating an inclusive, supportive, and flexible work culture, alongside our dedication to accelerating women’s careers, remains steadfast. As we navigate the future, our focus on more through mentoring will guide us in making a meaningful difference in the lives of our participants and the organizations we serve.