Saturday, March 5th, 2022

More Than One Mentor

“The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.” – Plutarch

Never feel guilty about moving on when you feel like a mentoring relationship has run its course. If a certain mentor isn’t providing the advice you need find another. I also recommend having more than one mentor.

Long-term mentoring relationships that continually enrich both parties are rare and should be treasured. They are gold.

However, always be open to exploring new experiences. I usually recommend to my clients that they should collect mentors like seashells.

Let me explain. I’ve told you this story before but it has been a long time ago.

I am definitely a people watcher and I enjoy watching people stroll along the beach (usually on Hilton Head Island). Most of the shells that end up on the shore are broken so when a person finds a whole one they can’t resist picking it up, even though they already have several “whole” ones.

The same thing applies to finding mentors. When you meet someone who, like an undamaged seashell, is whole, meaning they have it all together – latch onto them. In my early years in the CPA world, I called these people my heroes. I would meet someone at a conference or business meeting and realize they really knew what they were doing. I introduced myself and eventually became very close friends with many. Many experienced, competent, professionals helped me along my career path.

Eventually, some mentoring situations seem to simply wear out. That’s okay – don’t draw it out, be honest, disengage with gratitude and be direct. Both of you will be happier. Always keep the door open for the future.

Steve Jobs said, “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” While I agree with that sentiment, my way is not quite so pushy – – I apply constant, gentle pressure and eventually they lean in the right direction. Constant is the keyword.

  • "Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can."
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

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