By Todd Post
In one of my earlier careers as a rhetorician, I learned that the best way to understand a subject lies in listening to individuals talk about it from their own experiences. In ASK this issue, we apply that principle to the subject of mentoring. Of all the forms of developing a project manager, none is probably more effective than learning on the job under the guidance of a mentor. In this issue, some of NASA’s most respected project managers talk about mentoring. Not by lecturing us on the subject, but instead sharing their experiences either as a mentor or mentee, telling us what happened to them in the very personal form of a story.
The point of this issue, and to a larger extent ASKMagazine itself, is not to arrive at a consensus about the subjects we cover, but to create a vehicle for sharing knowledge. With the participation of our reader, ASK promises to be a powerful tool for knowledge sharing at NASA and beyond. Ask me what ASK is about and I’ll tell you without pause, to initiate conversations that will jump off the pages of the magazine and into the offices and down the halls of NASA centers all around the country.
It strikes me that people who love what they do love to talk about it, and when they find others who love the same things it may just be the most gratifying conversation we can have. This idea crystallized for me during my interview with Liz Citrin. I asked what excites her about the MAP mission she’s leading out of Goddard Space Flight Center. Her eyes burned with fire and the office suddenly got cozier, more intimate as Liz described how much fun it’s been and the thrill of pursuing scientific discoveries.
We are looking forward to what our readers have to tell us about ASK this issue. What we hear from you we plan to share in our Loop section next issue, as the conversation about mentoring and other subjects we cover this issue continues.