Send Out The Ladders


You don't have to be a mentor, you can be a ladder - another way to support, boost and amplify each other. 

A guest post by LB Adams, Owner of Practical Dramatics:

Recently, my brilliant friend Janet and I were talking about mentors and mentoring. We were discussing the various aspects - how to mentor, how to be mentored and who had influenced us. She shared with me that at her company, they use the concept of “ladder down.” It’s the idea that no matter where you are on the ladder, you can always send the ladder down to help someone else rise. I love this concept and the visual has stuck with me, well after the initial conversation. The more I thought about it, the more I thought, what if we don’t just send the ladder down, what if we send it out?

No one arrives alone. Wherever you are on the ladder, in the thick of it, on the path, bottom or top, wherever you are, someone gave you an opportunity. Someone saw potential, knew you had skills, acknowledged your abilities or even said your name to another person in a complementary way. What if we, particularly as women, purposefully and intentionally “ladder’d out?” What would that look like?

Perhaps we might join a group of women who are like-minded and want to support and fuel each other. It’s an excellent start. The more I think of “ladder-out,” the more multi-directional it seems to me. I envision women who are sharing skills and ideas, making connections and purposefully amplifying each other’s abilities and knowledge by saying their name to other people.

I think listening to and acknowledging the journeys and struggles of women vastly different from ourselves is part of being a ladder. I can see people who are not at the same company, in the same field or on the same path, but who are willing to provide an opportunity for others, regardless of how great or small. This is “ladder-out.” I’m grateful to know many people like this. People who are not just mentors or supporters, but are fans. What if we were purposeful fans of each other? What ladders might we climb?

This is what I intend to do - I’m going to send out as many ladders to as many women as I can, from wherever I am in my journey. They may not even know that I’ve extended a ladder, and that’s okay. I may slide or fall and that’s okay. I’ll pick myself up and look for a ladder.

LB Adams is the Founder of Practical Dramatics headquartered in Charleston, SC.  Her company provides a wealth of soft skills training events that utilize theatre strategies to help humans grow more profitable conversations with other humans.

To learn more, or get personalized help from LB, visit