I have been blessed to have worked with diverse people my career so far. I have worked with God-fearing people who bow their heads in prayer at their desk every morning before they start the day. I have worked with aggressive men and women who are not afraid to step on toes. I have worked with people who have never been late for work a single day in their career spanning decades. I have worked with short tempered people. I have worked with people who view their work as if it were their own….as if it were their baby. Through interacting with these people I have learnt a thing or two.
But there are people whom either knowingly or knowingly, have played the role of “mentor” to me. I have learnt the most from these people. These are people who I’d allocate a chapter, if I was writing a book about my career – or my LIFE. They have taught me through their words and actions, valuable lessons that I still remember and live by long after we stopped interacting with them.
Someone recently asked me , “Can you be my mentor?” After the awkwardness had died down (Lean In has a whole chapter on why this question is always awkward) , I said yes and then set out to first , list down what I have learnt from my own mentors , with the aim of sharing it with my new mentee.
This is for Miriam , and all others :
- In life, you can be sharpest, but (to make it) you must be shrewd.
- You cannot be half pregnant. Either you are, or you are not. Either you are stupid , or you are a genius. You cannot be both. Also , you cannot climb two trees at the same time.
- If you are not encountering any problems, then you are not progressing. What he said : “You cannot work for a month or even a week without encountering a problem. You cannot sit there for two weeks and not once come to me and tell me “Sir , I have a problem here””.
- What’s new? Always be up to something. Curiosity killed the cat ; you are not a cat.
- Only you can motivate yourself – Circumstances , even your bosses can de-motivate you…, but NO ONE can motivate you. YOU motivate yourself.
- Everyone is an employee (well , in most cases) – What he said : “
Screw that ‘my boss’ nonsense!I’m tired of all this talk about ‘my boss’ , ‘my boss’……we are all an important part of this business. Everyone is an employee – including the MD!”