September 13, 2010 | Uncategorized
BILL GATES HAS ONE, SHOULD YOU?
Bill has one, so does Woodie Allen. Madonna is one and so is the actress Ingmar Bergman. Are you missing out?
Thousands of influential people throughout history have believed they were ‘worth it’, as the TV ad says and cast aside the cloak of ‘self can manage’ in favour of, yes, a mentor.
Homer started it. No, not Homer Simpson but Homer’s Odyssey. The Goddess of Wisdom used Mentor, a debilitated old man, to guide Odysseus’ son through a difficult time in the young man’s life. Lucky chap – today’s youth aren’t so fortunate down at the local community centre! Imagine modern life if there was a mentor on every street corner in inner city areas instead of young ladies and gents plying their wares. How powerful would that be?
And you thought it was new!
Some of the greatest philosophers, renowned for their learned, far-sighted thinking shared a little known secret. The triplet of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are linked, although they preceded each other. “How so?” you may be thinking. What a fascinating discovery to learn that Socrates was the mentor of Plato, and Plato mentored Aristotle who went on to mentor Alexander the Great. And there we were thinking mentoring was so ‘now’.
Our very own 21st Century Bill Gates has a very rich and respected mentor, none other than Warren Buffet, one of the greatest stock market investors. And, guess what? Yes, spot on – Warren Buffett had a mentor too! Ben Graham, an influential economist, guided the young Warren in the ways of the markets!
It’s not just in business but in music and theatre that a mentor is the new “little black dress” – an absolute ‘must have’ that’ll take you anywhere you want to go. In the happenin’ scene, the rapper Dr. Dre is mentor to younger rappers Eminem and Snoop Dogg. In the movie industry, the famous and late British actor Sir Laurence Olivier mentored actor Sir Anthony Hopkins.
There’s a pattern emerging here . . . what gems of learning lie all around waiting for a curious hand to lift them into life once more? Is that hand yours?
OK, Warren (or another chosen guru) might not be available to mentor you personally but you can still experience their thinking by reading about their lives, listening to tapes and watching any available videos. Learn more about how they ‘’tick’, cut through confusion and enhance your winning performance.
Why spend time reinventing the wheel when the trailblazers have done the work for the modern business already? “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, written in 1937 is as great a read in 2008 as it was then.
Dear Santa – Please bring me a guardian angel – wings optional!
It can be lonely out there, surrounded by “can’t do” people who never wanted to anyway . . . and don’t want you to either! Leave your headaches behind!
Imagine having someone on your side, challenging and guiding you towards your goals. Yes, the ones your mentor helped you set – you know, those achievements that will stretch but not overwhelm you and keep you in a totally positive mindset?
Sometimes in this high-octane world, finding a safe space to deal with questions, struggles, emotions and doubts can be nigh on impossible. The metaphorical (and sometimes literal!) embrace of a mentor can give just that. When all is going well, there’s a great space where learning can take place and ideas flow freely. As trust grows, it’s OK to confess fears and to reveal blockages to progress, to explore them and move forward.
And it can bring fun and friendship, increased self-esteem and personal growth. So, what are you waiting for?
Are you smart enough to realise you don’t have all the answers? Be kind to yourself and write that letter to Santa. You’ll be glad you did!
Who should be your mentor is such a potentially life and business enhancing decision it’s worth taking time and care in selecting this special person. It might be important for you to:
ü Share the same values
ü Feel a good rapport
ü Trust enough to listen even if it is to something you might not wish to hear
ü Establish the potential your mentor sees in you
ü Feel they will take a personal interest
ü Ensure they have the time to devote to the relationship
ü Envisage where you see your career going
ü Identify a mentor successful in the field you wish to develop
ü Select a mentor with good social and networking skills
ü Look for someone highly motivated and who is held in high esteem
ü Think strategically about what you want from a mentor
ü Establish what you want to achieve together
ü Choose someone with a different work style to your own
Phew! That shopping list should soon have your business running on all cylinders quickly.
Take that first important step and you’ll gain a real asset for your business. Your mentor will help you tap into your inner strengths, review where you are, where you’re headed and the best way to get there in a fraction of the time you thought it might take. Remember, they’ve already established the quickest way from A – D without calling at B and C!
Your mentor will guide you towards life-enhancing changes and goals. Allow them to expand your knowledge, stir your imagination and perhaps change your perceptions and don’t feel defensive – they’re on your side!
7 Tips Guaranteed To Oil Those Mentoring Wheels
1. Express your gratitude – your mentor may be giving much more than you in the early stages.
2. Establish goals for the relationship through discussion and review to make sure they’re working. If not, adjust and refocus.
3. Talk through how you will communicate with each other – email, meetings or the telephone?
4. Respect your mentor’s time and other commitments – don’t bombard them with every little problem!
5. Make sure you reach appointments on time.
6. Respect the special access you have to your mentor’s influential network by always following through on leads and contacts given to you.
7. Be positive when your current views and attitudes are challenged – be open to new ideas.
Why not follow in the slipstream of Plato, whose mentor achieved and paid forward greatness – here’s what the great man had to say:
“PICTURE A DREAM. WHILE THE DREAM IS BEING BIRTHED, THE MENTOR STANDS OVER HIS PROTEGEÉ AND HELPS HIM RELAX AND ENDURE THE PAIN. THE MENTOR HOLDS THE DREAM UP BY THE HEELS AND SPANKS IT TO LIFE. THEN THE MENTOR PLACES THE-DREAM-TURNED-REALITY INTO THE ARMS OF THE PROTEGE AND WALKS AWAY TO ASSIST ANOTHER.”
Now it’s time you brought your brand new, freshly born dream to reality! See it, feel it, sense it – the life you want is already there. Take courage in both hands and step into your future – NOW! You know you want to . . .