Thinking About Mentoring

Fast Company provides some fresh perspective at Tumblr.

The New Face Of Modern Mentorship

Your mental image of a mentor is probably a dignified older man with spendy cufflinks. In reality, the best mentor may be sitting in a cubicle right next to you.

Founder and CEO of No. 8 Media, Inc., Alicia Morga (@AliciaMorga) talks about her approaches to finding great mentors:

Flip the script

When I say, “mentor,” most people conjure a wise elder who takes them under her wing and imparts priceless advice and ongoing guidance. In reality, a mentor is almost never a personal coach or a parent figure; she is a person—as flawed and unique as any human—to go to for a specific problem. It’s impossible for one person to have all the answers and a single mentor can’t address all your needs.

You can’t force mentoring

A mentor, ideally, is someone with whom you connect based on background (“she reminds me of me when I was her age”), interests, values, or even a problem to be solved. The best mentors in my life looked nothing like I had envisioned and nothing like me. We connected through a shared passion.

Be open

Sometimes, the best mentors find you.

We can all learn something from almost anyone—whether it’s about a specific topic or about ourselves. All it takes is a willingness to go into a situation admitting we don’t have all the answers.


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