Most people mistakenly think that they can achieve great success in their career with just an education from a good college, some on-the-job training and experience, and a little bit of hard work. All of these are necessary but not sufficient. In today’s highly competitive world that we live in, it is necessary to know how to take your game to the next level and differentiate yourself from your peers. How can you do that?
Look back at your life up until now and reflect on all your educational and career accomplishments? Did you accomplish all of those alone? Were there one or two or maybe more people that seemed to have played a key role in your success and perhaps helped you make some critical decisions?
Billionaire and mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg said in an interview: “Over the course of one’s life, there are a few people who have a major influence on the way you look at the world and define what is most important.” Bloomberg credits one such person in his life, the late managing partner of Salomon Brothers, William R. Salomon.
Facebook Co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg credits late Steve Jobs as one person he turned to for advice and guidance. Bill Gates credits Warren Buffett as someone who had a great personal influence on him. In the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata, Arjuna turned to Lord Krishna for wisdom and guidance.
As you read this article, think about who is playing the role of a Steve Jobs or William Salomon or Warren Buffet or Lord Krishna, in your life and career today?
Having such very wise and caring people in your life is a ‘luxury’ you cannot afford to miss out on. In a recent talk addressing young entrepreneurs at Founders Floor in San Jose, California, I used this phrase that ‘being in the mind space of successful people is immensely important to accelerate your career.’
Isn’t it awesome when other awesome people are thinking about how to make you successful, and what doors to open for you? That’s precisely the power of having mentors in your life. It will be a game changer for you to have great people that you admire, think about you and your well-being, beyond just you thinking about your career (your spouse too if you are married!).
Mentors Accelerate Your Learning and Accomplishments!
Mentoring is a trusted relationship between two good people – one having experience and wisdom from actually accomplishing something in a particular area, and another that has a deep desire to accomplish in that particular area. It is never about one being older than the other, or one being wiser than the other. I call this ‘Wisdom Asymmetry’ and mentoring helps to bridge that asymmetry, and it is up to you to find specific areas that you want to grow in and find knowledgeable and experienced people who can help you grow.
Even inside a corporation, it is important for employees to help each other accomplish more. Corporations that encourage peer-to-peer learning and mentoring tend to be more productive, more innovative, more agile and experience rapid growth. Also, even the employees are happier and find meaning with their work when they are able to positively impact others around them while growing in their own career.
“The primary objective of every leader is to ensure that there is a successive generation of leaders. And one of the instruments for doing that is mentoring,” says N R Narayana Murthy, Co-founder, and Chairman of Infosys, one of India’s largest IT companies.
Be a leader today for yourself and for those around you. Find one or more mentors for yourself to accelerate your learning and accomplishment. Be available to accelerate learning and accomplishment of people around you.
I explained many other nuances of mentoring in my recent book ‘The Art of Mentoring.’ In this book, I sought to dispel common myths about mentoring, and shared easily-implementable suggestions to make the most out of your mentoring relationships.
Don’t drive your car without learning the art of driving.
Don’t drive your career without learning the art of mentoring.