"VC Taskforce 2012 Innovation Catalyst Award - goes to the Draper Family". I read this news just a couple of weeks ago, and to meet him yesterday in person, shake his hands, and have an engaging conversation was indeed a very inspiring experience. It is not every day that you get to meet legends like Bill. However, I can tell you that the chances of such events happening in your life become better if you are an entrepreneur with BIG ideas and even bigger visions. Maybe that is my 'good deed' that presented me with this beautiful opportunity.
Bill was very gracious in receiving Prem Abraham (my mentor), Arvind Thiagarajan (my colleague and successful serial entrepreneur), and me warmly and actively listening to our story and vision. I felt firsthand the power of 'decades of insights' coming at me in the form of simple yet profound questions - laser-focused.
As entrepreneurs, we can look through the windshield and drive forward with passion and energy, focusing 100 percent on our destination (vision). Still, mentors like Bill help you see what's around the corner, either because they've been on a similar path before or because they've worked with many entrepreneurs.
At one point, I told him I made a few of the common mistakes entrepreneurs make that he also highlights in his book. He laughed and said, "I did too, and we all do; that is how we learn." Brilliant and very reassuring. After bidding him goodbye and wishing him good health and a happy Thanksgiving, these thoughts ran through my mind from that rich interaction:- People like Bill are not just 'Innovation Catalysts,' but are also 'Innovation Multipliers' because they see something good and make sure that the output gets multiplied several-fold by applying their wisdom, insights, and resources.- I think there are two "ICs" (not integrated circuits) that catalyze such multiplicative effect -- they are Investment Capital and Intellectual Capital. Both go hand-in-hand- Almost everyone reading this blog has a good amount of the latter -- the Intellectual Capital, in one area or another.
Imagine being able to invest that Intellectual Capital in someone who is an aspiring entrepreneur, a recent graduate, a mid-career professional, or a retired individual in the United States, or anywhere in the world for that matter. You will bring a change that they might have but could not figure out because they lacked some guidance.
Returns on Investment Capital (ROIC) may be one in ten, but with the correct approach, matching, and support, ROIC can be significantly higher. I have mentored over 150 people so far and have gained something from each interaction and every one of those 'investments' I made and continue to make every week. My career grew faster as a result of developing others. So, being a Mentor means being a 'catalyst' and a 'multiplier' for others as well as for yourself. When I did my year-long market research for MentorCloud, every CEO I spoke with said that they want their managers to be leaders and mentors -- catalyze innovation, bring out and multiply the individual worker's as well as the team's potential. Each one of us has the potential to build our legacy by investing our Intellectual Capital in the amounts that our busy schedules permit. Everyone is busy today, and so are great mentors. Good mentors who take the time and invest their Intellectual Capital in others become Great Mentors. With MentorCloud, we want to create millions of Great Mentors!