Get to know our Endeavor Mentor Valérie Derome, SVP Leadership Advisory, Mughal & McRae, in this mentor spotlight.

Why did you decide to join the Endeavor Network?

I am a transplant from Paris, France, to Miami, Florida. This unique city has become my home, and my own professional journey is woven into its vibrant entrepreneurship landscape. The Endeavor network offers the opportunity to contribute to the community and support local high-impact entrepreneurs whilst meeting unconventional human beings along the way.

Tell us about your background and why you decided to become a mentor.

My expertise is Talent, Culture & Leadership. My career spans over 25+ years, mainly with major companies, leaders in their own field: Apple, Medtronic, Alcatel-Lucent. I have been fortunate to learn and grow alongside managers, leaders, peers, team members, who helped me every step of the way. As such mentoring has been a key enabler in my own development. I now wish to give back and help those who do not have such ecosystems to support them.

What are the most important qualities and characteristics that mentors should have?

First, a great mentor knows how to create a connection with their mentee, to go beyond what the issue is on paper and uncover what really needs to be fixed. More often than not entrepreneurs don’t know what they don’t know and may not frame the mentoring partnership in a way that will bring the most impact for them. Second, mentors should talk the language of their mentees. For now forget big theories, corporate speak and technical jargon. Entrepreneurs need actionable, practical help that can be applied easily, and bring results. And finally, you simply have to be passionate about helping those who have big dreams and making them come to life.

Any general advice for entrepreneurs?

Please allow me to quote Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things: “Take care of the people, the products and the profits — in that order”. The role of HR Business Partners in mature companies is too often about hand holding managers in their role of people managers. You have a chance to get it right from the get-go. Make the people component the biggest ambition of the successful leader you will become, and the foundation of your company culture.

What are you reading?

Love the question! I cannot live without my Kindle. I just finished the latest Robert Galbraith, the Ink Black Heart – JK Rowling’s (Harry Potter) other pen name for her exceptional detective series. Crime and fiction are my go-to’s when podcasts and other work-related content take over more than a reasonable share of my attention after hours.

This response has been edited for grammar.