As a new executive trainee in my first professional job after college, I had little understanding of what a mentor could do for me. I learned the hard way how a mentor can help. A colleague of mine, Steve, was an unlikely mentor. A fresh New York City transplant to Los Angeles, Steve felt superior to everyone in the organization. He was intense and focused on success, so much so he would strive to win regardless of collateral relationship damage. I learned a lot from Steve. In his own strange way, he was my first career mentor.