Lending Leaders
The Irreplaceable Value of Mentorship

For this week’s episode of the LodeStar Lending Leaders Podcast, Jim sits down with Michele Kryczkowski, a passionate advocate of mentorships with twenty years of mortgage industry experience. They discuss the difference between instilling competence and demanding confidence, and how mentors can best empower their mentees.

Like many, Michele stumbled to the industry by accident. She started in the processing department of a small broker shop, and, as her role changed, she discovered a love for team leadership.


Mentorship doesn’t have to be formal and programmatic. In fact, Michele finds she prefers the spontaneity of organic mentorship rooted in relationship. People have questions, especially when they’re new to an industry or a business. Leaders and “experts” have questions too, which is why mentorship relationships are best when they go both ways. It’s about sharing expertise, instilling competency, and creating a culture where efficiency, productivity, and profit are rooted in mutual support.

Women in Leadership

For (especially male) mentors or men in leadership, Michele recommends two actionable steps to empower women at work:

  • Teach P&Ls (profit and loss statements). Too often, male mentors tell female mentees, “Be more confident.” But even if that is the right advice for her (often it’s not), it only empowers her for a moment. Teaching a P&L gives competence, which, in the long run, gives confidence rooted in expertise. It’s infinitely more valuable.
  • Especially on Zoom, where people’s audio can clip in and out, make sure to stop and let the women on your team speak. Prioritize their ideas. When people speak over them, stop the meeting, go back, and make sure they have room to speak.


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