The Benefits of Mentorship

I would be nowhere without my coaches and mentors.

I have been lucky to have great ones throughout my life and my professional career.

I also learned a great deal of who I do not wish to be when under the tutelage of horrible mentorship. I challenge you to endure your bad situations if you must and learn from them.

The reality of truly getting better at what we do or what we wish to pursue is that we need objectivity. There is a tendency to become complacent and satisfied when we experience a level of success. We stagnate. We don’t change because there’s now a risk of failure or loss of our perceived position or state.

Maybe you’re just “stuck” and need some guidance dig yourself out of a hole. The right kick in the butt, and you’re back on course and making progress

Our coaches and mentors provide that objectivity. And the kick in the butt.

It’s too painful to look at ourselves sometimes. Mentors can see us as we are and not as we perceive ourselves.

But it is the only way we’ll get better… at anything.

Kirk Hammett was already a great guitar player when he joined Metallica, but he wanted to get better, so he hired Joe Satriani as his coach. He trusted his judgment and followed through, and he got better when he was already great.

You can read that story here and here.

I still have coaches that I depend on. I have a network of friends, former interns, and students who have become trusted colleagues that keep me on track and check my thoughts and methods. Without them, I, too, would stagnate.

Here’s a great TED talk from Atul Gawande on his experiences on the value of coaching, even when it’s painful.

 

We live and work in complex environments where answers are rarely obvious. A coach or mentor bring their experiences to the relationship which accelerates your ability to gain understanding in a complex environment. There are no books, lectures, or videos that can provide the same.

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