Saturday, October 28, 2006

Dealing with mentors

Club member Sacha Chua made an interesting post about her search for personal board of directors. It reminded me of a time when I was looking for a person to guide me with what I wanted to do with my life. I'm happy to see that Sacha is making great progress in this area. Perhaps that is one of the many wonders of the Internet today as it allows us to find people whom we can take some risk and give trust to.

For my part, personal mentoring is good but not too close. I always noticed that the following happens along the way:

1. The mentor gets jealous with the growing confidence of the apprentice and even puts them down at times.

2. The apprentice head gets big to the point that they felt whatever you gave is something they deserve or earned, rather than a privilege of some sort.

Nevertheless, I still remain thankful to past mentors/apprentices where I got exposed to the good, bad, and ugly. Perhaps that is one of the reason why I tend to be detached. If you've been on both side of the fence and had a few betrayal experiences, it changes you. So when getting a mentor or apprentice, it is best perhaps to treat the relationship as "not personal."

The best mentors I found are book authors. As I read through their work, it allows me to focus, learn, and reflect.