Mentors And Self Confidence

Mentorship is the single greatest act of value creation in life.

The people we researched plug into wise and transformational leaders and also the support of teams to help them realize opportunities. The origin of the word “mentor” suggests the ways in which they actually help. It is a Greek word from the Odyssey in which Mentor counsels Odysseus, and from which we get its modern meaning of advisor. The Latin root refers to “one who thinks” and in Sanskrit, “one who admonishes.” They form a palimpsest of what we look for in mentors whether in the form of parents, coaches, bosses, and even strangers who help guide us to the promised land.

Mentor Chef

The first plate to come out of the kitchen told me all I needed to know. He was a ranch cook. The problem was that he was our executive chef at Forbes magazine. The beef was swimming in gravy, alongside three russet potatoes mashed in butter. My kind of food. But not the kind of Forbes wanted to serve their executive guests. What began as a culinary disaster ended in triumph because of leadership.

Mentor General

“Yes, lick ’em tomorrow, though.” — Ulysses GrantGeneral Mentorship

We discovered that mentors can be found in history. For example, General David Petreaus battled a vicious terrorist insurgency in Iraq in which he famously asked, “tell me how does this end.” The American four-star general called on the words of Ulysses S. Grant, his historical mentor, for inspiration. In our interview, Petreaus was able to recite Grant’s language during the first day of the Battle of Shiloh when it appeared all was lost:

Professor of Leadership. Extraordinary Lives Project. Author “Be Somebody” (2021); 2019 Telly Award; ex-publisher Forbes