One of the best ways to make a difference is by adopting one of your business partners as a mentee.

Stanley Marcus Jr. did just that for back in 2000. His company, Neiman Marcus, had hired us to webcast their annual launch of their big book luxury holiday catalog. Even though I was just a services vendor, the first time he met me, he decided to take me under his wing and give tough but necessary business advice. He schooled me on customer management, branding, personal attire for meetings as well as product development. I grew under his tutelage, and improved my ability to serve clients. Neiman’s got higher levels of service from me, and through my networking, the company. It was a win/win.

Try this with one of your partners this week. Find one that could use your knowledge and give them something other than a check! In the future, this will be a key part of corporate social responsibility – becoming a nutrient to our partners instead of just a paycheck.