Saturday, August 27, 2011


Have you ever had a mentor? Someone who took you under their leadership and trained you within a particular profession or life direction. They help us in determining what kind of person we will become.

I have always heard "find a mentor" - but rarely ever have I heard "here's how to find a mentor." Sometimes the relationship starts organically, without formality. How then do you know if you're being mentored or not? I always picture a sage with a much younger person next to him.

Take a look at the picture below. This is a promotional poster for the movie Limitless featuring Eddie and Carl. Notice see who is in the foreground and who is in the background? Look at the way each is dressed.

This is the perception I think a lot of people my age have towards mentoring. We are GenX who are up-to-date with the latest tech trends and knowledge. We take short-cuts to get ahead while not developing the discipline that will help us once we are ahead. We're self-proclaimed geniuses. However, we are also cocky, arrogant, and prideful. We are very much Eddie (foreground), the guy who use mentors like Carl (background) as simply a stepping stone for their own career. It's not about the process, but the destination. In the film the mentorship-relationship quickly turns into a rivalry.

Now take a look at the photo below. This is from the TV legal series Suits featuring Harvey and Mike.

Do you notice how they are standing? How they are dressed? Where they're looking? The biggest difference that I see with Harvey (foreground) is that he is accomplished because he worked for it. He put in the time, energy, and sacrifice to get where he is. In the back is Mike. He is our GenX. Intellectually on the same level as Harvey, maybe smarter, however Mike still has much to learn. He understands the process, the self-discipline necessary to achieve success.

Similar observations can be made with this photo:

It is refreshing to see how each one learns from the other, and their character builds up because of it. The series will dive into each of their characters, not only deciding what kind of lawyer they will be, but what kind of person they will be.

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