I feel like I’m reaching this funny crossroads in my business life. See, I’ve owned my own business for over 25 years and during the course of that span I’ve benefited from the inspiration of many mentors.
I was always struck by the fact that the people I chose as mentors seemed to understand the responsibility and maybe even sense of duty that came with the fact that I elevated them to such a high level of trust.
As I reflected on this post it became clear that my very first mentor was my father. I suppose most parents are viewed this way at some point whether they know it or not. As I watch him now fumble to even get his shoes laced, I know I still have something to learn from him.
When I started my business, people like Peter Drucker, Harvey MacKay, Tom Peters and Ken Blanchard shaped my thinking and that of my generation in so many ways. Most are still alive but not actively mentoring the next generation.
And that’s the crossroads part I guess – as I look behind me I no longer see the legions of mentors who helped me get ahead and as I look forward I don’t fully understand my role in doing the same for the next and the next.
Today, people like Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, Chris Anderson and Dan Pink have stepped into the shoes of the trusted minds for the next generation, but I wonder if they see themselves as mentors?
I wonder if I see myself as a mentor, if I’ve done the things to earn that kind of trust from those that read my words and hear me speak? Do you consider yourself a mentor? Do you consider the fleeting value of trust each and every day?
I don’t have many answers today, just some things to think about.
For this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I had the chance to interview one of my mentors – one who certainly fits into the class of someone who could be slowing down but shows little sign of it (actually a lesson in itself.)
Ken Blanchard is the author of over 50 books, including the One Minute Manager and most recently, Trust Works!: Four Keys to Building Lasting Relationships, written with Cynthia Olmstead and Martha Lawrence.
So, two question today I guess: 1) Who are your mentors and why? 2) Who are you mentoring and why?