Twice a year in the spring before Sapphire and in the fall before SAP TechEd season we ask you to nominate the next SAP Mentors.
Now you may ask: "What makes an SAP Mentor?" We have spelled it out in our SAP Mentor FAQ:
Who is an SAP Mentor?
SAP Mentors are the top community influencers of the SAP Ecosystem. Most of the ~100 mentors work for customers or partners of SAP. All of them are hands-on experts of an SAP product or service, as well as excellent champions of community-driven projects.
- Hands-on expert in an SAP product or service
- Collaborative attitude
- Good communicator
- Preferably working at a partner or customer of SAP
- Interested in improving products and services of SAP as well as the relationship of SAP with its customers, partners and prospects
- Proactive engagement
If you don't hit all 6 points, you can compensate by being exceptional in the other 5.
Even though the above is hitting all the right attributes, for many it still doesn't really convey what an SAP Mentor is. We have a long running joke: "I don't know what an SAP Mentor is, but I know one when I see one.
There are voices, I got a reminder email yesterday, that call for a greater spelling out of what SAP Mentors' tasks and responsibilities are. We resist the urge to do so, as we believe it would kill some of the mentor magic.
One of the happiest mentor magic moments happened in Madrid last year. When in large part carried by SAP Mentors we surprised Marilyn Pratt with a little flash mob decked out in blue T-Shirts saying: "What would Marilyn Pratt do?" It was in a beautiful way celebrating the tireless community work and positive influence that Marilyn has on SAP Community Network for all these years.
Check out the picture and you realize that the majority were SAP Mentors, but it included many other SCN community members. A proof that mentors strive for inclusion. Even if you are not an SAP Mentor, we welcome you to run with the Wolfpack and you can be part of most of what we are doing.
Another example was the #suithugging meme that also sprung up in Madrid.
Take a step back, it was pretty ballsy move to walk up to a suit and hug him, at least the first couple. But it really lightened up the whole event and brought geeks and suits closer together. It did its small part to convince that co-locating SAP TechEd and Sapphire Europe is a positive thing and we are doing it again this year in Madrid.
These are two examples where SAP Mentors make a huge difference, even though it is hard to measure or quantify and these activities can not be codified in tasks and responsibilities to be checked off and this is why we don't do it. We don't want to inhibit this spirit of passion that brings out the best in us and that inspires others to join and do their best too.
If you know someone that is living that spirit, has the passion for all things SAP, wants you to thrive in that world too, then nominate that someone to become an SAP Mentor. We can't wait to give them a bigger megaphone to the community as well as into SAP. We need to hear their voices loud and clear.
You are an SAP Mentor for a year, no automatic renewal. Through the prodding of 2 of the most influential SAP Mentors Craig Cmehil and Dennis Howlett, we have created a graceful way to move on. We created the honorable SAP Mentor Alumnus/Alumna postition.
As they say: Live is what happens while you are making other plans. It catches up and sometimes sweeps you away and when you can't continue to let your light of passion shine in the larger SAP community anymore, then it is time for you to hang up your shirt and give other worthy candidates the stage. If life takes another tag and you are ready for another engaging SAP chapter, we will welcome you back with open arms.
It is inspiring to work with some of the smartest, most passionate, engaged and fun people in the industry. As with all good things in life there is effort involved for you to make the best out of it, but man is it worth the effort.
P.S. You can nominate SAP Mentors until the end of February and the new SAP Mentors will be anounced a month before Sapphire Orlando.