One of the things I like best about Matt’s blog is its emphasis on the importance of giving back, and having a purpose beyond just making money. Abraham Maslow famously developed his “hierarchy of needs,” expressing the things (starting with food and water, and moving toward purpose and fulfillment) that a human must have in order to thrive.
The highest point on the scale, Maslow realized, was self-transcendence, or going beyond our own individual experience. Self-transcendence can be understood spiritually, but it also reflects a fundamental truth about thought leadership: once you’ve achieved your own goals, the next—profoundly fulfilling—step is to help teach others how to achieve theirs. It’s rare behavior in a world filled with so many constantly striving professionals. But it’s one that legendary marketer and author Seth Godin has embraced, and one we can all learn from.
Godin, whom I profiled in my new book Stand Out, may be unique among top business thinkers in running his own periodic internship programs. It’s quite likely the interns would shell out substantial money for the opportunity to get to know Godin; but as part of his ethos of generosity, he does the opposite and pays them. His program is so popular, its acceptance rate is lower than Harvard Business School’s. Tim Walker, who interned with Godin in 2013, describes the practices that make Godin a great mentor – and which you can follow to up your mentorship A game.
Where have all the mentors gone? Today we’re going to discuss the miracle of mentoring and how to find the right mentor for you.
I recently had lunch with a friend and the topic of mentoring came up. My friend is short on time. His schedule is crammed already and he feels like he hardly has time to breathe.
So what advice did I give him?
To mentor someone.
Yes, that is right. I suggested he spend an additional two hours each week mentoring someone.
I still remember the horror, the helplessness, and the hatred I had in my heart. I’d just been fired from the job I hated, but felt that I needed to keep. We’d just moved into a new home, with a new mortgage and our six-month old was asleep upstairs.
My first reaction was panic. I was terrified.
My next emotion was helplessness. I literally had no idea what to do. Sure, I hated my job. In fact, just the night before, my wife Tara essentially told me I needed to find a new job…or else. The stress and chaos was too much for either of us.
Next, I felt hatred. Towards the owner of the company. Towards myself for not leaving sooner on my own terms. Towards…well, “the system” and “the man.” I was just angry.
How do you tune out negative voices and live a life of true joy?
Let’s face it…if you’re achieving anything in life, a large percentage of the voices you hear will be negative. So what do you do with them?
Gertrude Nonterah from Working Christian Mommy shared some great ideas with me recently that I wanted to pass on to you. I love Gertrude’s tagline on her site: On the path to living an unconventionally rich life. When you’re living an unconventionally rich life, the negative voices will come. Here’s what Gertrude had to say about them.
Want to tune out the negative voices holding you back. Read this from @GeeNonterah. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
Some years ago, my mom decided she wanted to venture into entrepreneurship by opening a convenience store. It sounded like a great idea to her until she run it by a friend of hers. This friend told her how this was a terrible idea and that entrepreneurs never really make a profit and that her chances for failure were high.
As a leader, have you ever been punched in the gut by feedback from your team?
I have. And I am much better for it.
I wrote about this almost a year ago and chronicled my transformation as a leader. The interesting thing is that I still struggle with all but one area that I did seven years ago.
Feedback and improvement is not a one-time thing. It’s not a six month process. It’s a lifelong commitment, come hell or high water, that you will get better every day as a leader.
“Help! I need a mentor.”
That was the message I essentially got from a reader recently. His actual email went like this:
I just saw your post about going to meet with your mentor and so I thought I’d ask you, “how do/did you find your mentors? This may sound strange, but most of my entire career has been spent in search of great mentors, and I consistently come up empty. I always read, in leadership books, the importance of having great mentors but good grief, I have failed miserably at finding them. I’ve asked at work, which usually involves me being placed into “mentoring programs” (actually this is funny; I was put into a mentoring program last year, am now leading that program and still don’t have a mentor). Aghhhhhh!! So what’s the key? Who do I ask? Where do I look? Maybe this is a good topic for a blog post too because I know others struggle as well, but NO ONE could have possible have had as much trouble as me with this. Any suggestions?