Webster’s defines mentor as “a trusted value or guide” and a “tutor or coach”. I can tell you first hand that having one you can call on and ask questions or brainstorm with is invaluable. I have a person who has been my mentor for the past 25-years. He’s a former business associate, a personal friend and someone who I trust explicitly. Our relationship has a dynamic to where we can watch a ballgame together, but I can also call him or visit with him when I need someone to really help me gain my balance or make the right decision.
His friendship and guidance are priceless to me.
It’s important for everyone to have someone like that who you can talk to; talk about anything—life, business, personal matters—someone who will listen when you just need to vent. You may have someone like that already and just don’t think of them as a mentor, but they are.
The key is they have to be able to tell you the truth—even when you either don’t want to hear it or it’s going to go against what you feel personally. You must value their input and realize they aren’t looking at the situation through the fogged lenses we all sometimes develop. Ultimately, you must do what you think is right—I’m not saying let this person make decisions for you—but they should have the relationship to say, “The Emperor Has No Clothes”.
Relationships like this are extremely important when you have a big decision to make or when you are feeling down or maybe just in a bit of a slump. Get on the phone (or meet in person) with your mentor and openly discuss how you feel and then listen.
I hope you can find someone you value as much as I value my mentor. He’s been great for my career.
Question: Do you have a mentor? Are you a mentor? What are some tips you could share with the rest of us?