Why I Wrote this Book
I wrote this book to share with you my 20+ years of experience in helping others, as well as receiving help from others. I didn’t get to where I am alone; there were many individuals who held my hand and helped me along the way. Helping others is now a way for me to “pay it forward.”
We can all identify at least one person who made a significant and positive impact on our lives. There could be—and most likely is— more than just one such individual in each of our lives. They changed our course and moulded our thoughts. Those are our mentors, and they can be friends, relatives, co-workers, teachers, or known personalities. Our mentors are the more experienced, knowledgeable people in our lives who helped us stay on the right track by constantly guiding and nudging us along the way.
Mentoring is not a new idea. The origin of the term mentoring dates back to the time of the ancient Greek storyteller, Homer. It is said that the modern use of the term however, comes from the work of the 18th-century French writer, Fenelon. Even in Hindu mythology, there are references to successful kings and scholars looking at certain individuals as their “mentors,” separate from “teachers” or “gurus.” In the ancient Indian epic, Mahabharata, the great warrior and leader, Arjuna, considered Lord Krishna as his mentor, and Sage Drona as his teacher. Drona taught Arjuna skills in archery and discipline, while Lord Krishna helped Arjuna understand the real world and make wise decisions at key points in his life, and was always there to help Arjuna. In Greek history, Alexander the Great considered Aristotle as his mentor.
Mark Zuckerberg-Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey-Maya Angelou…
The ancient and well-known human interaction as the mentor-mentee relationship is still relevant today. We read about successful entrepreneurs who attribute their success to receiving the right wisdom at the right time from people they trusted. Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs are two prominent examples. Oprah Winfrey credits Maya Angelou, the celebrated author and poet, as her mentor. Musician Ray Charles was a mentor for the legendary musician Quincy Jones. Even Virgin Group co-founder Richard Branson wrote numerous articles about the influence mentors had on his own professional success.
Mentoring in the corporate world…
Companies have for decades adopted mentoring as a means to grow high-potential employees into future leaders. Companies also leverage mentoring to advance women and minorities into leadership ranks. Leading entrepreneur networks like Y-Combinator, 500 Startups, Alchemist, Startups.co, Founder Institute, Boot Up World, and Unreasonable Institute, just to name a few, describe access to great mentors as one of their key value propositions for entrepreneurs.
Mentoring in pop culture…
Who would Batman be without Alfred? Can you think of Luke without Yoda, or Po Kung Fu Panda without Master Shifu? Who would Harry Potter be without Dumbledore?
Unfortunately, there are still many misconceptions about what exactly mentoring is. I am dedicating an entire chapter to address these common myths about mentoring so that you are fully informed. I sincerely hope this book helps you start the conversation with those who challenge the power of mentoring, and allow you to become a champion of mentoring in your own professional and social networks.
Mentoring moves the needle both for the mentee and the mentor, but only if both parties approach this the right way. In this little gem of a book, Ravi provides a recipe to get the most from a mentoring relationship. I can’t wait to see more lives change for the positive from this book.
Rajesh Setty, Author of Gratitude: Changing the world, one thank you at a time