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Priceless. The value of encouragement and support, inspiration, insight, and even perhaps a swift kick in the pants.
If you ask any successful entrepreneur or leader about their journey, undoubtedly they’ll reference a mentor, a coach, a teacher, or a community that helped nurture these seeds of success. Even the earliest of leaders, into ancient Greece and beyond, all had mentors; people to guide and provide insights.
But with the convenience of technology does authentic mentoring still exist? Have we emerged as a society of folks who know it all. My twitter feed and inbox are always full of sales pitches that promise more income, more impact, more likes. Instead of innovating new approaches, taking risks, and embracing in these trial/error experiences that, in my opinion, are essential for credibility and longevity we seek out a quick fix or $200 that ‘solves everything.’ Maybe we’ve not come to realize this yet, but what we are doing is replacing the strengths of community and personal relationships with mere service.
Reimagine the Mentor-Mentoree Relationship
Maybe the word ‘mentor’ seems a bit boxed in for you- as it does for me. Formal and in some way ‘all knowing.’ That’s far from the case- it’s been my experience that there is a fine line between mentor & mentoree. I believe we each have some unique experience to share. I approach this whole concept and idea as a sort of career collaboration, focusing more on sharing perspective and experience and less on “giving advice.” You are at times the mentor and others the mentoree- sometimes within in the very same conversation. Great mentors deliver actionable perspective and serve as catalysts to help others discover the next and best steps for themselves. I touched on this a bit last year when I published The Competiton of Creative Business. These valuable relationships are forged, where both mentor and mentoree share and celebrate lifetimes of experience and achievement.
Let’s revisit the idea of mentorship as a way rebuild our economy and local communities, and adopt an “each one teach one” mind set. You don’t have to know all the answers, but rather willing to share what you know.
I would love to continue this conversation in the comments below, tell me where have you found a mentor- and how has that changed your outlook on business or life?