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Four Mentorship Archetypes (g-rand.com)
72 points by catchmeifyoucan on Dec 10, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 10 comments



  I ask them what skill they wish 
  they were better at. Then I ask 
  who they think is great at it. It 
  only takes a moment for it to 
  click – they don’t need a perfect 
  mentor that can do everything, 
  they can start by just reaching 
  out to learn a single skill from 
  a single person.
I'm stuck in this place where I'm not sure what I want to progress towards. It feels like a pre-mentorship phase because a mentor can't help you with an undefined goal. If they could, I'm not sure how they would be identified.


It occurs to me that undergraduate programs at universities at least try to make this distinction. It's fairly common to assign each student a general advisor who helps them pick courses and manage requirements, then pass them off to a departmental advisor once they choose a major.

Granted, it usually doesn't seem to work very well, which supports your uncertainty. My experience is that general advisors mostly help bureaucratically, by making sure undecided students progress towards graduation while they explore topics. Which is obviously a bit short on real-life analogues, since beyond food and shelter there aren't many predetermined 'requirements' shared across all goals. But it at least has me wondering about the possibility of seeking a different style of mentor. Perhaps someone who's moved through several fields, or someone in a potentially-interesting domain chosen less for excellence than for their ability to give you an efficient taste of the field? If you're as far as a tentative goal this becomes fairly easy, as with undergrads doing research work or prospective law students doing paralegal/law-office work.

I don't have any great answer here, though, and I'd really like one. There are several things I'm interested in which seem to either lack this sort of pre-entry mentorship or lack any experts at all. If my desired skill is "the intersection of X and Y", but I can only find experts in X or Y... it looks like I'm rather on my own.


I think a big part about mentorship is actually that part. I have been fortunate to have had fantastic mentors, people who have looked for opportunities for me to explore things. They didn't just ask me what I wanted to do. They found out and helped me get there and I've never once regretted it.

In every case, though, the meaningful help has come from someone who knows me - either because we talked shop at the gym, played football or board games together, or because they were actually formally my manager (or CEO or whatever). So I think it's unlikely anyone could _really_ help you online with this particular problem.

In attempting to replicate my mentorship experience for someone else, I find that this is easier with some people and harder with others. I haven't yet quite captured what it is, but I think at least a small portion of it is the will to progress in an exploratory manner and iterate rapidly on that. i.e. you don't actually find out what you want to do so much as you aim for a safe but challenging opportunity in some area that has clear success criteria and then you see if that specific opportunity thrilled you.


...who is great at figuring out what they want to make progress toward?


when driving on ice, and start to slide, the ways to take control / stabilize the car is to first let it go wherever it wants to go (i.e. remove yourself from equation), analyze that, and then do something if needed/possible (well sometimes u can).

decisivenes, or self-sufficiency are also skills. Or, "coming back is not same as staying" - was this written in Amsterdam somewhere?

(and the cheshire cat said it doesnot matter which way u start if it does not matter where u want to go.. u still reach somewhere. if..)

so.. if u dont know where-to go / progress.. do u want to go/progress ? why? and why that? :)


What has meaning to you? What tugs at your soul when you can't sleep? Where does your mind go between tasks during the day?


Whatever this thing is or has been for you, how do you distinguish between a path you should pursue or a dream that is best left as a dream?


> that is best left as a dream?

I think a better question for me personally would be: "what dreams have I purposefully turned away from?" And better yet, 'why?'

I grew up with people telling me how smart I was, and how I was going to do great things, and 'oh, I expect to see your name in a newspaper someday', etc. So I dreamt big. Spaceships, mining the stratosphere of Jupiter or the asteroid belt, and so on. Kid dreams without restriction.

I began stepping back from these very big things when I got married. What kind of time commitment will it take for me to be the absolute best? What would it mean for me to dump my heart and soul into something other than the one I love? At the end, when I've got ten minutes of life left, would I be satisfied with what I had done?

I don't like the answers I have to the questions above. The bottom line for me is the question "What really matters? Not just to me, but when considering the largest scope of reality."

The value of human life is not our achievements, or our legacy that we leave behind, or a name that will be remembered. Rather, our value is our capacity to love God and love other people. In fact, we aren't asked to do anything more than that.

Sure, we are given passion and desire to do and to build and to create. And we should follow that to the extent we are able (beyond our own frail fears and mental limitations). But the end of the line isn't what we achieve. It can't be. Because (depending on who you listen to) in a few trillion years it'll all wind down into a steady-state soup. Meaning will be lost to the dead and dying universe.

TL;DR: leave it a dream if you have some end-goal as the reason for the doing of the thing (ie, money, fame, wealth, notoriety, etc.). It's ok to have some end goals, just don't make them the reason you do something.


My office's filtering blocked the site for reasons of pornography...


Is the website down?

In my area, I just need a successful person.

Lots of 6 fig earners from their day job, cant find a soul doing anything outside that.

I already have a popular website, but I'm having trouble doing the business side of things.




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