Steve Marino - Macomb, Michigan Leader and Mentor on His Lifelong Passion for Teaching Others

Despite his young age, Steve Marino has already amassed a large list of accomplishments across his career. To many, he is better known as Steve Marino, Michigan House of Representatives, former member and now a mentor for future leaders. He was elected to this position in November 2016 and proudly served the hardworking men and women of Harrison Township, as well as portions of Clinton and Macomb townships.

Before that, he was a Macomb County Commissioner. He spent time in both the public and private sectors. But throughout it all, there is one role he has played that he considers to be the most important of all: Mentor.

Stemming from his belief in the power of shared knowledge and experience, Marino has always found it incredibly gratifying to contribute to the growth and success of others. He recently sat down for an extensive interview where he discussed this, as well as his approach to building trust, the essential nature of collaboration, and more.

Steve Marino, Michigan Leader Making a Positive Impact

It's easy to say that you find mentoring one of the more important things that you do in life - it's another thing entirely to have the proof to back that up. But Steve Marino had no hesitation when asked to share an example of a successful mentoring relationship he's had in the past.

"In a previous role, I mentored a new team member from an underrepresented population who was transitioning to run for a leadership position within our organization. We focused on developing his strategic thinking and harnessing the impressive power of his articulate communication skills to effectively promote him as a thought leader within the organization," he said.

He continued: "The success of this mentoring relationship was rooted in open communication, mutual respect, and a tailored approach to addressing specific needs and aspirations."

Indeed, many of those are recurring themes throughout the majority of Marino's mentorship journey. He's long maintained that building trust begins with active listening and genuine empathy. He tries to invest as much time as possible in understanding someone's goals, along with the unique challenges they face, and the specific perspective they bring to the table.

During the formative stages of this relationship, he also tries to be as transparent as possible about his own experiences. He believes that this helps him to establish a much-needed sense of authenticity. After all, the mentor/mentee relationship isn't going to work if the latter simply does not buy into the value that the former has to offer.

Once that foundation of respect and authenticity is in place, Marino gets to work creating an environment where consistent communication and reliability take things even further. All this helps to foster a trusting relationship in his experience.

Flexibility, Perseverance, and More

Of course, none of this is to say that Marino's experience with mentorship has been free from adversity. When asked to describe a challenging situation that he faced as a mentor and how he managed it, he was also quick to come up with an example.

"A mentee struggled with a career decision," he said. "I approached it by providing a supportive environment for open dialogue, helping them explore various options and potential outcomes. Ultimately, the mentee made an informed decision, and the experience reinforced the importance of adaptability and patience in mentoring."

Indeed, it is that layer of flexibility that he says is an asset that has served him well to this point. Marino advises people who are looking to begin their own mentorship journeys to always learn a mentee's learning style as early on in the process as possible. That way, they can tailor their own approach accordingly.

He says that some may benefit from structured goal-setting, for example. Others may prefer more exploratory and discussion-based approaches. Regardless, adapting his own style guarantees that the mentoring relationship is as effective and as enjoyable as it can be for the mentee.

In a larger sense, he made it a point to say that setting achievable goals involves collaboration with the mentee to define clear, measurable objectives. If you aren't coming from this place - one where both parties are on the same page - you don't really have a chance of moving in the same direction.

He also noted that regular check-ins and progress assessments go a long way towards allowing both parties to track advancements and to adjust goals as needed. This interactive process also helps to make sure that goals remain relevant and attainable throughout the entirety of the mentoring journey.

But more than anything, he believes that empathy, active listening, and the aforementioned adaptability are all crucial mentorship qualities. This is true regardless of the industry you're in or who you're working with. His ability to empathize with mentees' challenges, actively listen to their concerns, and adapt his approach based on their needs has been integral to fostering successful mentoring relationships.

Part of the goal of a mentor isn't to simply create a copy of themselves. Marino doesn't mentor someone in an effort to create what is essentially just another variation of Marino. He wants to use his unique knowledge and insight to become the best version of themselves they can be. That in and of itself is the most important benefit of all.

In the end, Steve Marino of Michigan has spent years coming to an understanding of the challenges individuals face in their professional journey. He's been in the same position, most recently as a member of the state's House of Representatives. That's why he considers mentoring to be one of the true privileges of his career. It gives him the chance to witness the transformative impact that this shared knowledge and experience can have on not just someone's career, but their personal development as well.

Especially when you're talking about politics, it's sometimes easy to grow cynical about the world around you. But having seen the incredible results with his own two eyes, this is an area that Marino continues to look at with total earnestness. He finds it gratifying to contribute to the growth and success of others and that is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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