TICF Career Development Series “All I Know So Far”  leverages the strength of toyota to help associates connect and grow

Toyota Industries Commercial Finance (TICF) kicked off its new monthly series, “All I Know So Far,” which is designed to connect, inspire, motivate, educate, and ultimately help TICF associates grow their careers. The format prioritizes ample time for Q&A to spark lively conversations and promote relationship building.

As a nod to National Mentoring Month in January, the first speaker in the new series, Lisa Bastian, Vice President of Human Resources and Administration for Hino Motors Manufacturing, USA, shared highlights of her 25-year professional journey, including describing some of the challenges she’s faced and focusing on how mentorship helped her grow her career.

While it’s common to wonder how and where to find mentors, Lisa believes that most people’s first mentors come naturally, often family or friends. Another organic way to find mentors is by observing and mimicking—identifying someone you admire and studying their actions. “Watch, listen, and see what works for your style,” Lisa advises.

Another category is what she calls “unexpected mentors,” who pop up where you least expect them; in her case a “reverse mentorship” construct where she worked with a team populated with younger talent who held very different perspectives and ideas. “They were fearless, liberal, and vocal, which opened my eyes to what their generation wants from work: freedom, purpose, growth, and meaning,” she says, acknowledging that while unexpected mentors can bring some of the greatest frustrations, they also can result in the biggest “aha moments.”

Lisa concluded with four pieces of mentoring insight that can help anyone.

  1. Stay open, curious, and vulnerable.

It can be difficult to admit mistakes or look like you don’t know something when you’re with someone more senior or experienced, but these are opportunities where you can learn the most if you are brave enough to ask for advice.

  1. Use a mentor’s time wisely.

Don’t expect a mentor to do the heavy lifting to determine the advice you need. “Think in three bullets that have a theme,” she suggests. “Ask about their experience, which will bring them out of their shell, rather than bringing your problems.”

  1. Be open to feedback.

Lisa cautioned that it’s important to be perceptive about whether you’re ready for the next level of your career. She notes that mentors can help you determine your timing and what you don’t know, as much as what you do know.


  1. Pay it back.

Lisa reminded others to accept the request to help when you’re called upon to be someone’s mentor. “They need your perspective and experience, and you’ll also learn in the process.”