Lead Climber Message

Message from the Lead Climber

By John P. Morris, Lead Climber
January, 2016

Greetings current and future 14ers Mentoring Program members, there has been quite a bit of work happening with the RMA mentoring program and I would like to share some of the efforts.

For those of you who are not participating and are still wondering what the RMA 14ers Mentoring Program is all about, let me give you a quick overview. In the fall of 2006 the RMA membership voted to create the Fourteeners Mentoring Program (14ers) to promote a recognition program for individuals within RMA who aspire to greater heights, support RMA in its mission to elevate the leadership and influence of facilities professionals, and to recruit and mentor others to prepare for and fulfill leadership roles at their own institutions, within RMA and within APPA.

Membership in the 14ers Mentoring Program is considered an honor and is acknowledged for those who have reached a milestone in their participation with RMA. Membership in the 14ers Mentoring Program is open to all RMA members who are in good standing and meet the longevity, participation and service requirements. Members of the 14ers Mentoring Program shall be committed to advancing the goals of RMA, and in addition be committed to the promotion of hospitality, mentorship, communication and comradeship within the region.

To become a member of the 14ers Mentoring Program, RMA members must climb fourteen peaks which are described in more detail on the application form.

Not eligible to be a full RMA 14er Club member? Or Looking for a Mentor?

A “Climbing Buddy” is typically a more advanced climber who assists newer climbers in mastering the art of climbing in a safe and enjoyable manner. In RMA, the Climbing Buddy Program is the nickname for RMA’s mentoring program. The goal of the Climbing Buddy Program is to promote comradeship while assisting all RMA members to reach their full potential. The ultimate goal of the RMA 14ers Mentoring Program is to help and encourage the mentees to become a full-fledged RMA 14ers Mentoring Program member. Becoming a member of the RMA 14er’s Mentoring Program demonstrates the mentee’s awareness of the full offerings that RMA and APPA have to offer and prepares them to become mentors themselves.

By now you have probably picked up on the climbing theme. This is intentional. Not only is rock climbing and achieving the 14er status something that emulates the Rocky Mountains, it is a metaphor for your career. Just as newcomers, or gumbies as they are referred to in rock climbing, would rely on an experienced climbing buddy to assist them with a technical climb, so it goes for your career or your climb through RMA and APPA. 14ers Mentoring Program members can show their climbing buddies the anchors, cams, biners, ropes and tricks of the trades in order to gain the benefits of what RMA has to offer.

Gumbies, the term affectionately applied to novice climbers, may request a climbing buddy by contacting the RMA 14ers Mentoring Program Lead Climber. Upon approval by the Lead Climber, a 14ers Mentoring Program member will be assigned to the gumbie as a climbing buddy. If you are not participating as either a mentor or a mentee you are missing out on a great opportunity to share your experiences, or expand your network and develop your leadership skills.

As promised earlier here are some quick updates:

1. We are doing well with (76) 14ers Mentoring Program members, and (42) climbing partners. Some of our climbing partners are also members of the 14ers Club so we have (28) gumbies (mentees) who are still working on their peaks. To date we have had 8 gumbies become full-fledged 14ers Mentoring Program members.

2. Our metrics look ok for now; however we have set the goal of (93) 14ers Mentoring Program members by September 2016 so we need to keep encouraging others to participate and help our mentees meet their peaks. We have also set a goal of (49) gumbies so we need to step up our recruiting efforts in this area as well.

3. Based on the results of our CFaR research project on mentoring, APPA has created a new Mentoring Task Force that reports to the VP for Professional Development. I am honored to be chairing this task force. We have only just started but our stretch goal is to have an APPA wide program in place by July 2016.

4. Even though we talk about the 14ers Mentoring Program at our annual conference 45% of the CFaR survey respondents in the RMA region did not know we have a mentoring program. We all need to help communicate this program at our institutions, especially now that we have institutional memberships and everyone at our institution can be a member of RMA and APPA. 14ers Mentoring Program members I can use your help to get the word out at your various institutions.

5. There were some comments APPA wide in the CFaR survey with the concern that mentoring might take too much time. I have included some guidelines in the resource manual available on the RMA website; however it is important to note that even as little as 15 minutes per month can be beneficial to your mentoring relationship, so don’t let time concerns sway those of you who are on the fence about getting involved.

As the 14ers Mentoring Program Lead Climber, I encourage you to get involved. Engage with your peers. It is a fantastic opportunity to gain personal enrichment and professional development. RMA is the organization that can help you make connections in the profession and the region. If you are hesitant – step out of your comfort box. Like that first climb it may be scary, but the rewards are indescribable.

The fact that you are thinking about getting involved is your first step towards the rest of your climb. Your next step is to follow through and get involved. I welcome you and look forward to climbing with you. If you have any questions about this program, RMA or APPA, please feel free to contact me.

John P. Morris, P.E., CEFP

[email protected]

Northern Arizona University

POB 6016 Flagstaff, AZ 86011-6016

(928) 523-6187