This is the first in a series of posts sharing business lessons learned from the movie, AMERICAN GANGSTER.
Bumpy Johnson was an organized crime kingpin in Harlem. His considerable wealth, street smarts education, penchant for violence, and charitable community efforts made him a larger-than-life figure. For over 15 years, Frank Lucas served as Bumpy’s driver, bodyguard, and collector. Everything Frank learned, he learned from Bumpy. So when Bumpy suffered a heart attack, Frank vowed to continue what his mentor started.
Frank Lucas on Bumpy Johnson
“He was my boss. My teacher. He taught me a lot of things. He taught me how to take my time, Taught me that if I was going to do something to do it with care, with love. Taught me to be a gentleman.”
The benefits of having a mentor cannot be understated. Developing a one-on-one relationship with someone you respect for their know-how and daily demeanor is a critical factor for many successful businesspeople. Mentors offer guidance, connections, criticisms, and support that can only help someone reach their professional goals.
Lisa Denny Compton was my mentor. She was also my boss. Without her patient counseling and marketing coaching, I shudder to think where my business life would be.
A mentor doesn’t have to be your boss. Mentors can came from anywhere … your co-worker, your neighbor, your pastor, your aunt, anyone. If you respect someone for what they have done/are doing, they can be your mentor. You just have to watch, listen, and apply the lessons they teach you.