Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A thousand benefits summarised in one sentence

I was thinking about how best to follow on from my last post about mentoring, how the term has been slightly high jacked by third parties and possible suggestions to encourage would be participants in schemes to take part.

I was really struggling to put together something simple and catchy, when I stumbled across the following sentence from Seth Godin’s book ‘Linchpin’:

“Mentoring is rarely about the facts of the deal (the facts of the deal can be easily found), but instead is a transfer of emotion and confidence”

Wowzer. I think that pretty much hits the nail on the head.

The context for the above sentence was Godin inviting Lester Wunderman to serve on the board of one of his internet companies, expecting him to give him the low down on direct marketing. Although they did learn it was about different areas such as decision making and strategy. The point is finding facts and information is the easy bit, anyone with a work ethic can do this on their own.

Lester Wunderman, 2008Image via Wikipedia
Who could not learn something from a man with jumpers like this? He had to sit down when the photo was taken otherwise any movement would mean he would be strobbing in shot
The sentence and the example in general help illustrate two things. Firstly, the quote helps illustrate that information is important but not knowing or not having the will/confidence to apply it makes its value redundant. Secondly the beauty of mentoring is the realisation on the part of the mentee of their ability to grab the tools at their own disposal, realising their skills and knowledge and then acting on it accordingly. This is coupled with (and this is the real kicker) that in doing so they might find the question or goal they had set out to do had completely changed as a result of being mentored – as shown in the example given with Wunderman.

The possibilities for change are endless, as finding a new answer can lead you down another, new exciting path.

Looking at it this way, who would not want to do it?
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