How Hurricane Harvey Changed My View on Mentoring

Blog Post created by katie.mehnert Champion on Feb 7, 2018

I hate asking for help.  It's a shortcoming. Or at least it was, until Hurricane Harvey battered the Energy Capital for days. 


Harvey forced me to give up my stubborn commitment to self sufficiency and to ask for and accept help.  It sounds so simple, yet it's a lesson that bears repeating in the coming days as we celebrate #MentoringMonday, in Houston, online and cities across America. 


Traditionally we think mentoring is about junior-level employees seeking wisdom from the more senior executive.  We also think that it's women mentoring women, when we really need men now more than ever to #MentorHER 


After Harvey I can tell you, the definition of mentorship is wrong.  We all need help, no matter what we have achieved. And we've all got something to offer.  


On August 28th, the Army Corps of Engineers made a difficult decision to release the west side dams unleashing water on homes in the Energy Corridor to save the city of Houston.  It was too late to leave and I couldn't save my family myself.  


In a span of 6 hours we lost the house, cars and our former office.  Terrified, I put my own oxygen mask on and called for help.  A man came with his boat and rescued us.  His English was broken; my Spanish non-existent. 


I'll never forget that moment.  He had nothing to gain.  But he did have something to give. 


I hope you will join me on Monday! I will attend in Houston (register with code HOUPINK18).  Be sure to join in the conversation online, too.  Please know that at times we all need help and #YouToo have something to give. 


You can read my full #MentoringMonday op-ed which is in the Houston Business Journal and Bizwomen here.





Katie Mehnert

Pink Petro and Experience Energy, CEO and Founder

Lean In Energy, Founder and Board Director