Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Professional Mentors

I met with a gentleman recently to discuss career possibilities.  I’ve been on the journey to find what I should do with my life as far as a career for about a month now and trying to reach out to as many people as I can.  He tells me that guys his age don’t have a problem giving advice or helping younger guys out at all.  Two sides to the coin, one it’s probably an honor to them because someone wants their advice and two young people can learn from others who have gone down paths that they are thinking about.  So what stops young men from seeking out help?  Pride and a lack of humility, we think we can take on the world ourselves and feel ashamed to admit we need help or have no idea what we are doing.  So why is it that we, the next generation business guys, are so afraid to put ourselves out there?  Who knows who you’ll meet; why not give it a try?
Is doing so even necessary or beneficial?  Do I have to?  Well, if you are asking those questions you may be one who enjoys the bright red lights and inhaling dust, because you are likely to be left behind the pack trying to play catch up for the rest of life.  For those who want to be front runner, those who want to be successful and cannot stand the thought of having to fit a mold or doing and saying all the right things.  For those of us who are tired of all the bureaucratic red-taped filled homogenous culture we are offered, we must seek other paths.  If we do not want to be like them, then why let them set our learning curve or training agenda?  If it is freedom you seek then the only way that it happens is by revolution.  Calm down there sport, I’m not asking you to go all Braveheart on anyone; this is a personal revolution, a revolution against the unfortunate character flaw of our generation.  We are a passive group, an entitled group of young folk who have been spoon fed too much.  We must awaken from our lethargic ways and change how we think and act.  We’ve got to stop being afraid to fail.  When I was a firefighter I was taught many things, some quite useful in the corporate world, like being able to break out a window, so you can jump out of it (only kidding).  Seriously, I was taught this little mantra, “little risk, little reward, big risk, big reward.” In our professional lives we won’t benefit much from not taking risks.  And in this case, taking the risk of reaching out to a business or person that you admire or respect has very few risks, because like my friend said before, most people love the opportunity to impart some of their wisdom to us young bucks. 
I say I believe mentoring (in several different capacities) can change the world and I mean it, I truly believe it.  The more willing we are to seek out mentors and wisdom from others the more we become teachable and the more we learn.  Being teachable is an aspect that we all must be willing to gain.  Being teachable will allow more space for success down the road also.  We have so much to gain from others experiences as well.  We cannot realistically expect to experience so much or even the same as any other individuals in our culture or business.  Humans learn by experience and unless you are independently wealthy and can go experience the world as a hobby, we need to leverage others' experience for ourselves by diving into that wealth out there.  The more we seek mentoring they more we will be willing to mentor the next generation because of how it impacted us.  This is not only about us as you can see, it is about the ones coming next.  Mentoring can be a game changer, the question is are you willing to allow it to.  Are you ready for change?

No comments:

Post a Comment