Built to Help Each Other

Mentoring in the Life of Richard Caruso: An Uncommon Man

John Crosby

Richard Caruso and John Crosby started the Uncommon Individual Foundation in 1986 with the belief that mentoring was the key to unlock human potential and individual growth, paving the way to meaningful and productive lives. Caruso had a vision for a book revealing the importance of mentoring in his own life, and now his partner takes up the mantle to share it as a way to inspire others to achieve their own goals. Born in Atlantic City to first generation Italian Americans, Caruso’s life started with humble beginnings as a young boy shining shoes on the boardwalk, to founding Integra LifeSciences. With hard work, tenacity and a “never-give-up” attitude, he obtained FDA-approval for Integra™, a genetically engineered artificial skin, which finally reached the commercial market after 14 years and has saved the lives of thousands of patients throughout the world―not just those fighting extensive burns, but those with chronic skin diseases. Crosby shares their cutting-edge systems of mentoring as developed by Caruso at the London School of Economics. He explains how these systems work, which not only include people as powerful mentors, but also multiple resources such as books, poems, speeches, videos, and art. He details Caruso’s involvement as an entrepreneur in starting FedEx, PECO, Verizon, Provco, and other start-ups as examples of how he worked and lived. In telling Caruso’s story, Crosby shares his friend’s life with humor and personal memories of how they created the Uncommon Individual Foundation and implemented their innovative mentoring philosophy in over 200 organizations in the U.S. and globally. Most importantly, their life stories are beacons of light to encourage readers to find true value in mentoring to help themselves and others find success and happiness in their own lives.

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