Corporate Strategy

110: Mentorship (feat. Alex Restrepo and Sterling Wilson)

February 08, 2024 The Corporate Strategy Group Season 4 Episode 6
110: Mentorship (feat. Alex Restrepo and Sterling Wilson)
Corporate Strategy
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Corporate Strategy
110: Mentorship (feat. Alex Restrepo and Sterling Wilson)
Feb 08, 2024 Season 4 Episode 6
The Corporate Strategy Group

Embark on a journey through the intricate landscape of mentorship as we bring you insights from our very own Alex Restrepo, steadfast champion of capitalism, and Sterling Wilson, the innovative mind behind a recent tech startup sensation. Our discussion delves into Alex's well-deserved promotion and the new challenges on his horizon, while Sterling divulges the excitement enveloping his entrepreneurial venture. The heart of our conversation beats to the rhythm of mentorship's profound influence, unraveling the ways in which the right guidance can illuminate paths for those navigating the corporate and tech mazes.

Discover the art of forging impactful corporate mentorships as we share strategies tailored for both the wallflowers and the social butterflies of the professional world. Our exploration takes you through organic connections and structured corporate programs, underscoring how these bonds fuel career propulsion and personal development. We also spotlight the digital era's take on mentorship, where platforms like Discord become the new meeting rooms for mentors and mentees, emphasizing the beauty of learning and growing together in a reciprocal dance of knowledge and experience.

The conversation takes a nuanced turn as we distinguish between the immediacy of coaching and the strategic depth of mentorship, offering a beacon for those seeking the right kind of guidance to illuminate their career paths. We contemplate the signals that herald the need to reassess a mentor-mentee relationship and discuss the upcoming collaboration with Instant Mentor, designed to widen pathways to invaluable advice. Join Alex and Sterling as they underscore the lifelong impact of mentorship and the universal truth that success is a collective achievement, never a solitary conquest.

Everything Corporate Strategy:
All the links!

Elevator Music by Julian Avila
Promoted by MrSnooze

Don't forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it helps!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embark on a journey through the intricate landscape of mentorship as we bring you insights from our very own Alex Restrepo, steadfast champion of capitalism, and Sterling Wilson, the innovative mind behind a recent tech startup sensation. Our discussion delves into Alex's well-deserved promotion and the new challenges on his horizon, while Sterling divulges the excitement enveloping his entrepreneurial venture. The heart of our conversation beats to the rhythm of mentorship's profound influence, unraveling the ways in which the right guidance can illuminate paths for those navigating the corporate and tech mazes.

Discover the art of forging impactful corporate mentorships as we share strategies tailored for both the wallflowers and the social butterflies of the professional world. Our exploration takes you through organic connections and structured corporate programs, underscoring how these bonds fuel career propulsion and personal development. We also spotlight the digital era's take on mentorship, where platforms like Discord become the new meeting rooms for mentors and mentees, emphasizing the beauty of learning and growing together in a reciprocal dance of knowledge and experience.

The conversation takes a nuanced turn as we distinguish between the immediacy of coaching and the strategic depth of mentorship, offering a beacon for those seeking the right kind of guidance to illuminate their career paths. We contemplate the signals that herald the need to reassess a mentor-mentee relationship and discuss the upcoming collaboration with Instant Mentor, designed to widen pathways to invaluable advice. Join Alex and Sterling as they underscore the lifelong impact of mentorship and the universal truth that success is a collective achievement, never a solitary conquest.

Everything Corporate Strategy:
All the links!

Elevator Music by Julian Avila
Promoted by MrSnooze

Don't forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it helps!

Speaker 1:

I can hear it I still creepy Cool. Yeah, real creepy.

Speaker 2:

Get you every time you never expect it.

Speaker 3:

Shivers down the spine.

Speaker 2:

Get you every time Shivers on the spine Throwing out my mind. Welcome back to Corporate Strategy, the podcast. That could have been an email. I'm Bruce and I'm Clark. Hey, clark, we have guests today.

Speaker 3:

Not one guest.

Speaker 2:

We have two guests today. Pearl, yes, we do. We introduced our returning guest capitalist correspondent, mr Alex Destrepo. Welcome back, hello. Thanks for joining us, and brand new guest, sterling Wilson.

Speaker 4:

Say hello to the people, Hello, hello everyone Pleasure to be here and I promise next time I will have a much cooler surname.

Speaker 2:

Capitalist correspondent, alex Destrepo, has earned his title over time by just coming back and defending capitalism any tenets he gets. So, sterling, I think today's topic all about mentorship, so you're gonna be like the mentor of mentors by the time they was all over. Sounds good to me. So we always start the show with a vibe check and in the interest of time, I'm not gonna vibe check all four of you, but let's get our guests today. Alex, how are you feeling?

Speaker 1:

I'm feeling fantastic. I just got a promotion at work, new role, new challenges, already hitting the ground running with a bunch of projects, and it's just gonna be a really fun fiscal year for me at my job. So I'm feeling great.

Speaker 2:

I like when we start with good news. See the Clark take notes.

Speaker 3:

No, no, congrats. It looks awesome, Alex. So, yeah, I wish you the best of luck and you have to tell us a little bit more about it. I'm interested how it changes, you know, from your previous day to day now to the new one. So maybe for another episode, another time.

Speaker 2:

Sure and Sterling. How you feeling, buddy.

Speaker 4:

Are you kidding me? How could I not be excited after Alex's news? Congratulations, alex. Thanks, sterling. Indeed, indeed, I'm feeling very good today, you know, as far as sort of setting the landscape for the rest of this call I'm about. You know I'm a motorcycle lover, so there are gonna be a lot of these references, just warning everybody on here. But you know, I'm hitting the throttle and shifting into third gear Myself, as I've just passed about two months, little over two months, with a new company, a new tech startup, and we're just getting those things into motion, personally there or professionally there. So things are really rocking, loving what's happening there. Things are good. On the personal side, man, I'm in San Diego right now and I just I'm just waiting for it to stop raining. You know, it's a, it's always-.

Speaker 3:

How quickly, like you're just among friends with you, using all those you know sayings we're tying so well into motorcycling. That was incredible. So, yeah, you're in a great place. It's the place to be.

Speaker 2:

Awesome. I mean, it doesn't sound like he's in the best place for motorcycling giving. When it rains in California, everyone shuts down just yeah.

Speaker 3:

Well, the flood, the infrastructure. You know, they just can't handle water over there.

Speaker 4:

They cannot handle it. They're just not built for it. You're absolutely right. You know, I'm a native East coaster and we get kind of rains like this all the time. I mean, I will admit it has been very, it's just been nonstop, it's been very pervasive. But you know, we're ready for this back home out here. They just don't know, they don't have a place to put all that water. It's just positive.

Speaker 2:

So it happens when Las Vegas takes it all from you. Hey, you know we're gonna skip news today because we're gonna go right into our topic. That's what we brought guests on. So we're talking all about mentorship, and this started, clark Well, actually I think it started with Alex right, you're the one who suggests that we talk about mentorships. Is that correct? I did, you did, you did. Why, why should we talk?

Speaker 1:

about mentorship. Well, there's a couple of reasons. Mentor, of course, coming from the Greek hero friend of Odysseus, who was mentoring Odysseus's son, Telemachus. I'm kidding, I'm not gonna go into a big diatribe.

Speaker 2:

I could, but I will save. I was ready for it.

Speaker 1:

No, no, no, I'm gonna save everybody's ears from that, no, but seriously, what inspired me actually was a new member joining the Discord, Alexandra Matheson, who joined us in the Discord Someone else that I've worked with in the past. So I've worked with Sterling in the past. I've worked with you know, Clark Bruce. I've worked with you all in the past. Alexandra is another person and her introduction just reminded me that you know there's folks out there that likely have a lot to give back in terms of being mentors and would be happy to help out folks that are earlier in their careers, looking to do more right, or maybe they're in the middle of their careers and looking to do something different. In an either instance, you probably would benefit from a mentor. I know that I have throughout my entire life, and I would argue that so many of the lucky bounces I've gotten in my life to get me to where I am have come as a result of being able to interact with some high quality mentors throughout that process.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I actually 100% agree with that, alex. You know, as I think about my journey in kind of the corporate realm, especially in technology, I didn't really have anybody around me that was in technology. You know, I kind of grew up in a blue collar town and none of my family, like, even had a college degree, so coming into the corporate world it was like, you know, eyes wide open of I have no idea what's going on and this all is way above my head. And I was lucky enough to run into some great mentors. Bruce, alex, you mentor me once, one time or another, you know, in certain situations and you know, thanks to you know, having some really good mentors and you know a couple that I've had for a really long time that are much more senior than me. You know, I think that is a lot of the attribution to the success I've had in my career.

Speaker 2:

And Sterling, you're pretty passionate about mentorship. Just in the conversations we've had about it in the past, I know this is something that's a really big deal for you.

Speaker 4:

It is. It is, you know, and I think it really starts from finding the joy in watching someone else be their best version of themselves, and so a lot of the mentoring I think really takes place. You know, we all should have a mentor and be mentored, and they should all happen at the same time. But really the key of it is really figuring out what you do best, what you bring best to the table, and just rocking it like nobody's ever seen it. And I see too many people that are looking for a mentor because they want somebody to sort of prep them or to push them or to sway them, getting into something that isn't there, that isn't their forte. So I just I think that's super important to figure out first.

Speaker 2:

I love that you brought that up. Cause I think it is something I want to talk about today is when is mentorship appropriate and good and when? When are you doing it for the wrong reasons? But before we get into that, let's start at the beginning. If you're new on the job, if you're little Clark 10, 20 years ago and you're just showing up, how do you find a mentor? And I'm curious to hear everyone's experience with this and how they pulled that off.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, if you want, I could start. I know, for me it just comes from being outgoing, right? So by virtue of being outgoing and just putting myself out there, then folks who are perhaps more senior in a given path or you know, or some in some position of leadership, are more willing to engage me. And actually I think that's one of the reasons I want to talk about this topic so much is because I fear that there are folks out there that are not as outgoing as I am and aren't necessarily going to attract that mentor attention that they probably would benefit from, and so I'd love to figure out better ways to be able to connect potential mentees with mentors. The one thing I would say also, if I could, is just vice versa too.

Speaker 1:

I think there's a lot of folks that would be great mentors, but they're afraid. You know, going back to something Sterling just said, they're afraid they're not the best at what they do, and I don't want perfect ever to be the enemy of good. If you're better at something than someone else and you're willing to help that someone else, you're potentially a mentor, right. So I want everyone to think that way, and it doesn't matter how old you are or how old they are. Right, like, age is not the factor, rank is not the factor. The simple factor is do you, by virtue of skill, talent, hard work or all of the above, are you in a position where you're better at something than someone else currently is and that person wants to better themselves? That's a great place to be, to be a mentor and, like you're saying earlier, you know, for the right reasons, bruce.

Speaker 2:

You know, that actually brings up a question to me and I only thought about when you were talking about it Does a mentor have to be better than you at the job you're doing?

Speaker 4:

No way, are you kidding. Actually, the best wrestling coach that I ever had was a mediocre wrestler. He had the ability to see what needs to be done and to take each person and allow them to cultivate their skills. You know, in wrestling you have things where you know there's a double leg takedown. Some guys are better if you know they start. You know on the bottom or on the top, so you know. To know where you are is to be able to build strategy. He was a great strategy builder. Was not the top of his class before, so absolutely yeah.

Speaker 3:

I love that. I think, as you think about, like coaches, even right, that often become mentors to their players. A lot of the times they weren't like the greatest athlete, but they kind of see something a little bit different or they're able to kind of help guide people in ways that, like, an individual contributor, might not be able to. It's the same, you know, sometimes, unfortunately, in corporate, where you see individual contributors turned to managers and they're not great managers, incredible individual contributors, not great managers. And it's because it does take, like Sterling you're saying, you know, a different skill set, a different mindset and some people have a knack for it naturally, some people don't, and obviously you can learn it.

Speaker 2:

I almost think about it like you have your active brain and your analytical brain right, and I see this a lot in writing and content creation. I will pass something off to someone who is not as good of a writer or maybe even as creative a writer as I would think that someone in marketing would be. But I do it because, as an analytical outsider, when they look at the work I create, they're going to give me a totally different thought process and a totally different spin, and often that's where I get the best feedback and advice from.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I agree. Going back, I think Bruce, you were asking like, how did we find our mentors? I think there's also like a there's natural mentorships that come along where it's not like it's not formal. Like Bruce, I would say, a lot of the you know, our early engagements were like natural mentorships, but it wasn't like formal, like let's sit down every week for an hour and let's have a formal mentorship where we're talking about an action plan around X, Y and Z. It was just like, yeah, we're kind of just hanging out when issues come up, we kind of talk about it and talk about the future, and those things kind of come along naturally.

Speaker 3:

And I think actually, you know, one of my longest mentorships was actually a family friend who happened to work in technology.

Speaker 3:

That I got to know through knowing his children and so we kind of grew up together and I got to know him and he kind of became a natural mentor whenever I would hang out with them or hang out with him and then it grew into us just hanging out together and getting to know each other better. And it was interesting because it was all natural. But I also think a lot of mentorships do come out of structure. You know, fortunately, a lot of companies do have mentorship programs where you can, you know, join and express your interest and you often get paired with a mentor and sometimes those I've had a number of those that have turned into like lifelong mentorships as well, where I still connect with people at old companies because we were paired together due to some structure. So I think falling into mentorship can somewhat happen naturally, and it's awesome if it does happen that way. But there also are a lot of opportunities, I think, within the corporate sphere, for you to find a mentor.

Speaker 2:

So I want to go back and go ahead. Sterling.

Speaker 4:

I was just going to say I couldn't agree more. I just think Bruce made some excuse me, clark made some awesome comments there around, you know, around finding mentor. You know, I kind of wanted to share a little bit of my experience because it was a little bit different, where I was sort of approached because I was seeing a certain level of success, called an amodicum of success, but somebody saw something in me that could help get me to that next level and so sometimes you can operate that way and find those opportunities. But the whole point back is no matter how you get there, you want to reach back and help the next person, kind of coming up here as well. And I just kind of wanted to make that point to say that it really your personality and who you are and what you do, all of that sort of dictates the best way you can bring those people into your sphere. But to have them in the sphere and to know what roles they play is of utmost importance.

Speaker 2:

So I want to get back to the point which Treppo made earlier about being outgoing and finding the mentor. As an outgoing individual, I'm wondering does anyone have any advice? If you are either on the more introverted side or you're really new and you're just not comfortable talking to people, finding people and you're at a new company, how do you find that mentor? Like what can we offer folks? Super fresh, the freshest of the freshers.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I'm happy to start. I think, like you guys said, you know, fortunately I think a lot of us here are outgoing so we can't necessarily speak to it on a, you know, a personal level. But I have seen a lot of the times is, you know, especially when it's not like natural for you to go up to someone and be like, hey, can you mentor me? It starts with being, you know, curious and inquisitive and asking questions, and I think when you do that, you start to find people that are willing to answer things for you and you kind of find who you can like lean on for understanding something or gaining knowledge for something. And I think you can take that to the next step with them and you don't have to make it formal but you can say, hey, I really appreciate every time you know you answer a question for me.

Speaker 3:

I'm learning a lot from you. Do you mind if I, you know, sit down with you may for 30 minutes every two weeks just to ask you some questions about you know, just some general things that I have and that can kind of naturally spark you into it. Where you've already made that introduction, you have some connection with this person. So you get over that awkward boundary or that worry that you know they might reject you because you already have some familiarity due to the work, and then you can kind of transition it into oh, let's make this a little more structured so you can learn from this person, get to know each other a little bit and then move on from there.

Speaker 2:

I like that and I was also thinking specifically if you are a type of person who is more outgoing, like everyone on this podcast is look around you and you know, look for those people who might need mentorship or might need to.

Speaker 2:

You know, nervous to ask about it and reach out. If you can help, you should. I know we're going to talk about you know some, some platforms and even the discord in a bit on how we can use that as a methodology for mentorship. But just in your own workplace, if you are the type of person that carries the ability to help someone else, look around and offer that helping hand, even if it is just like Clark saying, you know it's a quick chat or just an extension of hey, would you be interested in, and you know, chatting about things, maybe 30 minutes every two weeks just to help see if we can grow you more professionally. Those are all ways that you can help others. And I did like I forget who said I think it was Sterling earlier basically said you should have a mentor and be mentored, or you should be a mentor and mentor yourself, and or I'm getting the verbiage wrong. But yeah, I think those both ways is what I'm saying.

Speaker 4:

Absolutely, absolutely, alex.

Speaker 1:

No, I was just going to say. It actually goes back to something Alex Anderson in the discord, which was constantly be learning, always be learning, and couldn't agree more. Of course, the one thing I'd say, you know, just to kind of circle back to the, you know, if you're, I'll tell you, less outgoing but you're looking for a resource, perhaps in your company. I would say if you're at a company that's even halfway decent, you should be able to talk to your manager about where you can find a mentor within the company and they should be able to at least point you in the right direction, if not directly, find you one themselves. And I recognize that that still requires some level of you know putting yourself out there in the first place. But I think it's worth taking that first step if you can.

Speaker 1:

And I know as an example within my company, my management was super proactive about making sure that when I first onboarded I had a mentor that going forward, if I needed a mentor, there was one available for me in whatever direction I wanted to take my career in. Another one of our friends that's in the discord on that works with us. He also was able to find a mentor in the company very quickly, not directly in his chain of management, but someone else who was senior within the company, and I think that you know being able to put yourself out there, just that first step is a big part of it, if you can, in terms of just being able to find that to add something there as well, because he made a very good point.

Speaker 4:

Your companies really should be set up to do that, and this gentleman, I know, could be literally a podcast in itself, but it goes both ways there too and something where we like to refer to as career pathing. It's a very real thing and the issue is, when you only have one way up the men and women that work for you they come to you to look for that next step and they say, hey, I'd like a promotion, but the only way up is just in people management, not in analytics or something else out. So the company should have those things and with those, have those people that you can run to a touch point too. That is how it should work. I've been in some companies where we actually created that career path because, as leaders, we realized we weren't giving our best people the way to continue to grow in their best way. But in my instance, my mentor was not in my direct career path, it was somebody that was more senior in the company and really quickly I wanted to just say I'd like to take that question of for the people who may not be as outgoing, I'd like to kind of turn that on the head and speak to everyone on the call to make sure that what we're doing is reaching back to provide that instance for them.

Speaker 4:

Myself I have been reached out to by people who were definitely more on the shy side, on a one-on-one. They saw me at a company event or they saw me out in the industry and they said, hey, I've noticed what you were doing, I noticed how you're growing. Would you be willing to talk to me about that? And I always appreciated that. Number one is just wow. I never even thought that somebody would value what I've been through and kind of my story, but within there I've learned there are different things between a mentor and a coach and really part of that is really making yourself available so that you can kind of understand both and then really help bring people out of their shells so that they feel empowered to go to that next level.

Speaker 2:

Something I love about what you said, sterling, is that you felt better about them reaching out to you, which, if our listeners are struggling with finding that mentor, realize that. Reaching out to someone if you compliment them and say, look, I really appreciate what you're doing, how can I be more effective like you? How can I get up and do the things you do? I mean, you're paying the ultimate compliment to that person and it's not something to be nervous about, even though it might seem daunting.

Speaker 4:

Right, we want to help too, right. Right, bruce, we want to help, we want, we want. I mean Shucks. As soon as I knew that they were interested and needed, then we kind of jumped on it. So a lot of it is that we both want to help and have that thing go both ways.

Speaker 2:

That first step and I also just want to throw out there if you're in a company that doesn't have a mentorship program and you're in a position where you can speak up and say, hey, I think this is something we should start, I can think of very few instances of companies that are actively going to be like, oh no, this is a terrible idea, let's not do this. I mean, unless you're working for grind my gears, satan factory. I think most companies want to spurn this kind of development, so take it upon yourself and push for that kind of program.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. I'm actually curious, maybe for Alex and Sterling. I find that, yeah, sometimes it can be a little awkward. You know, in mentorships, what are the types of things you guys have talked about? You know, in mentorships that you've had with mentees or that you've had with your mentor yourself, what are the kind of topics that have been most beneficial?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think one of the things you should do is set the table to begin with and just get a good feeling for what the mentee is looking to get out of it and you as a mentor.

Speaker 1:

It should be pretty clear, Like the benefit is you get to pay it forward, right, Because likely you've been mentored in your life and so if you're in a position to be able to be a mentor, it's likely because you've already had that in your own life and so it's a good opportunity to just pay that back.

Speaker 1:

And if that's gonna help you sleep better at night knowing that it's going full circle, right, Rest of prosody and all that. But in terms of how do you get the most out of it is make sure that it's clear what the mentee is looking to do in their career and then figure out how to reverse engineer that and then help them along the way in that process and do check-ins, I mean the vibe check you guys do here. You guys are mentoring each other every time you do a podcast. In my opinion, that's a big part of it, right, and something Sterling already said being present, right, Having a cadence, knowing that you're going to talk to each other and be able to hold each other accountable for things that you've said you're gonna do. I think that helps a lot, too to then be able to get on that path, to get to those goals that you stated at the beginning of the mentorship. That's right, that's right.

Speaker 4:

Alex pretty much nailed that, and you know what I love about what Alex's response was it's all about the mentee. It's all about the mentee. I mean, you have to be honest, you have to offer your experiences. This isn't about measuring performance, it's about sharing, because they're trying to get to, perhaps, a certain path. There are certain things that you can share and provide that guidance, and I think that it's just all about them. Much different than coaching. I wanna add that I think that, just for everybody on the call once again, could be a whole another podcast. Some people need a coach. They don't need a mentor, they need a coach and it depends on where you are in your career and where that next level is. Some people have both, but mentors are not coaches and I just wanna point that out.

Speaker 2:

Can you give a little bit of a separation on why that?

Speaker 4:

is Absolutely. They are for different reasons and different sort of seasons. There A coach is literally gonna drive the relationship for you. They're gonna measure your performance. Hey, you're not performing well here. You want the feedback. This is where you go to kind of get that, to get that very good feedback. You wanna increase what you're doing or you wanna do what you're doing better over time? That's gonna be your coach. There's a place to kind of go back. You reflect, you actually look at point in times with each other. A mentor is really more about sharing their personal experience, setting you up for the longer game, making sure that you're spending your time making the right relationships that you need, keeping your eye on a certain ball. Really, to kind of boil it down, you can really think of one that is really there for the everyday day to day and then the other person that is just looking as sort of a path or correction check to make sure that you're still headed ultimately to where you wanna get to.

Speaker 2:

That is exactly well said.

Speaker 4:

That is the perfect summation His strategy versus tactics. A coach will give you the tactics.

Speaker 3:

I like that a lot. Yeah, I think that is a common misconception and I think, as a mentee, you really have to make sure you're ready for mentorship before you just jump into it to your point sterling. I think you need to understand do I need to coach or do I need a mentor? And I think you have to really look introspectively and ensure you're going to be ready to be like okay, am I actually going to be accountable, am I going to be open to what they tell me and what feedback they give me? Because I think a lot of people jump in thinking they need one thing.

Speaker 3:

It's like oh shoot, I actually need the other, and then the relationship ends up fizzling out or the mentor could get frustrated because it's like, okay, I'm not here to give you day to day pointers, and not to mention having a mentor.

Speaker 4:

It's driven by the mentee. So are you there? Are you ready, are you present to be able to say here's what I've done. What do you think of this strategy?

Speaker 3:

You know where the coaching is, sort of at that standard eyes, or checking in every yada-yada and what'd you do, and I think the accountability is to your point I think this is something really interesting to talk about is, as a mentee, you should be accountable to the feedback that you get from your mentor, and I think the last thing you want to do is get stuck on that hamster wheel where your mentor, every single time you come in and be like really struggling dealing with this person, and then you hear that feedback and you should go back and work on it, you know, say, okay, you know, I heard you, I agree, I'm doing something wrong here, let me adjust my approach.

Speaker 3:

And then when you come back to your mentor, you can kind of come back and say hey, sterling, you know, I know last time you gave me the pointers I wouldn't have this conversation. It actually went really well. You know, this is the kind of outcome we landed on. I feel like our relationship is heading the right direction. So there is a format of, I think, accountability. That's important. That's not coaching, of am I beating these specific numbers, but taking in that feedback and showing that you're listening, you're making progress forward and you're not just letting things come in one ear and out the other.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I love it. Before we get to sort of how we share this with the broader community, I just want to do a quick check. You know me, I got to bring in the one negative when do you need to drop a mentor, or when does the mentor need to drop a mentee? Like, what is the one red flag everyone needs to be aware of in cases of mentorship?

Speaker 1:

I think dropping a mentor if you're the mentee, if they seem checked out, I think that would be the big one. They should be somewhat invested in your overall success. I think if you're going to have a good mentor and then, as a mentor, dropping a mentee, it's sort of the same thing but a little different in that if they're checked out, then there's a chance that they're going to push back when you give feedback and instead of internalizing it, knowing that it's coming from a good place, if you're a mentor, it's likely because you should be trusted as a mentor and if you're not, that's not a productive relationship. You got to get past that and understand why there isn't trust. But assuming there's trust, then the feedback you should know it's coming from a good place and so if the mentee seems to not be internalizing that feedback, I think that's a time to have a heart-to-heart figure it out and maybe it's just not the right fit in terms of mentor-mentee relationship at that point.

Speaker 3:

I think as a mentor too. Like I said, as a mentee you got to look introspectively, make sure you're ready. I think some place you can commonly fail as a mentor is if you actually don't have the time to put it into that person.

Speaker 3:

If you're going to say yes to it. You really have to make sure I'm going to be invested in Alex as a person. I'm not just going to occasionally answer questions for it. I am going to make sure I say okay, alex, I'm looking at what you're doing, I see what you're trying to do, I'm going to give you resources to help you get there.

Speaker 3:

So it's important that you understand that you have the time and I think some red flags that could come up. I think if the mentor is always talking about themselves rather than asking questions about you because, like Sterling said, it's all about the mentee and if you constantly get a mentor is like, yeah, well, I did this and I did that and this is the way I handle things, it's like, okay, they're not really listening to the mentee. They're kind of just talking about what they would do and kind of telling you to go do something, not saying, hey, alex, I understand your situation. In the past I did something like this, but that might not work in your situation. So maybe you could try to do this, because they should be pointing that attention back to focusing on you, the mentee, not themselves.

Speaker 4:

That would be my biggest red flag. Literally that was my answer. What Clark just said. If they're too inwardly focused, listen, it's one thing to respect these ladies and gentlemen that have made it to a certain sea level or they've had some stories in their life yeah, I get it, they all carry egos and I appreciate that piece. But if they're too inwardly focused, their strategy is going to reflect that. And to Clark's point, that that really doesn't take your style and what you are trying to cultivate into consideration.

Speaker 1:

If I could add to that, because I agree with what both of you are saying, it's not just like the style may not be right.

Speaker 2:

The generation may not be right.

Speaker 1:

And so, economically, things have shifted and they constantly shift. In some instances, things may shift for the better, and so maybe some of your stories overcoming the types of adversity you saw just aren't relevant, because that type of adversity doesn't exist anymore. And vice versa. Maybe there's new headwinds working against the person you're trying to mentor that you simply were never exposed to. Now you may have experience with something that's somewhat similar, somewhat analogous, but not a one-to-one. So, like Clark said, 100% I agree, you got to tailor what it is you're working through with them for that person and for the time they're in, and not try to force that square peg into a round hole. That was your own personal experience. I love that, yeah.

Speaker 3:

I think a lot of the times as a mentor, you get stuck in your ways, but I think you're learning, especially if it's another generation you need to learn from your mentee of like okay, times have changed, why is this more challenging for them? Why is this different than when I had a similar situation? And make sure you make it contextually relevant and listen to what they're telling you, because it may just be different than the context you were in when you had it.

Speaker 1:

Why is my mentee saying sub-fam and that slaps so much? Why is that happening? I feel personally attacked.

Speaker 3:

Oh that's because you were. That's okay. Okay, that was definitely. That was 100% erected right at you.

Speaker 2:

No, I pulled the knife out, it's okay. Just a little bit of blood, it's all good. So one. Firstly, thank you all. I think this is a fantastic overview of mentorship, both from sort of start to finish. But everyone listening to this episode is asking themselves well, what is the corporate strategy group going to do to help me with mentorship, maybe outside of my direct company? And, clark, I thought you had something to share, is that? Is that still true?

Speaker 3:

Oh, yes, very true. So yeah, we've been exploring a partnership with a company called Instant Mentor and something we didn't really mention at the top. A lot of mentorships fail and it could be due to a lot of the reasons we talked about you know. It could be due to, you know, the mentor meant he matched not being right. It could just be due to inconsistency. It could also just be due to lack of structure. So you kind of fizzle out because you're like I don't even know what to talk about anymore and it's hard to kind of keep that going if you know you don't have a structure plan and the Instant Mentor platform we're looking at potentially baiting this program out with from for folks on our Discord and many of us is looking at, you know, essentially building out an easy way for you to find a mentor, so a match that meets your context, your context, you know whether you're older or younger or working in a certain industry or whatever it may be, and what you're looking to accomplish, and then ultimately being able to provide you that guide all the way through the mentorship journey. You know how do you get to know each other in the beginning with, you know doing some icebreakers and kind of just going through exactly what Alex was talking about setting expectations. What am I trying to get out of this mentorship? So that you guys are aligned and then kind of taking you through that mentorship journey of being like, hey, here's some recommended things you guys could talk about in your next session so you can get prepped ahead of time before your call that's scheduled, and you guys can then get together and go through that together and then after that, you know, kind of branches into more advanced things like, hey, maybe you recommend you guys read through a book together or, you know, go through some sort of LinkedIn learning series together, and that way you guys can kind of grow and share your learnings on that too, so you can continue to learn.

Speaker 3:

So we think this platform could ultimately help everyone be successful with mentorship by not only making it more accessible but also making it easier to manage, understand where you're at and to find a mentor that truly is going to enable you to have the best partnership and hopefully it turns into, you know, a lifelong mentorship. So I don't know exactly, bruce, we'll figure out a plan of one we're going to look at. You know, potentially doing a beta, maybe we'll throw an interest form out in the discord, Because I know, alex you mentioned, somebody did join and talked about mentorship. So it will throw an interest form out on the discord after this and see who's interested and then we'll start up looking at a beta, you know, putting together what that could look like for our community.

Speaker 1:

So Clark this platform right? Let's say I'm a mentee looking for a mentor. Can I specify like things about the mentor I'm looking for? So as an example, let's say I'm a young woman earlier in my career and I'd prefer to get mentored by another woman that's maybe walked my path a little bit. Is that something that's available?

Speaker 3:

It is yeah. So I think what we'll be able to do is basically kind of customize what that onboarding looks like, to put together that, let's say, like interest profile or something like that, and then we'd be able to match up others based on that same criteria.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean at a high level. I can think of a few value props for this interface, as opposed to using your corporation's standard, whatever it is available for mentoring. Number one, of course, is that the relationship can exist beyond just one individual job. But number two something Sterling mentioned earlier having a mentor outside of your immediate career path or immediate chain of command. In some instances that may not be a possibility.

Speaker 1:

Maybe your corporation's not big enough to have folks outside of your career path, maybe the role you're in doesn't really allow for that, and I think being able to connect with folks that are not at your company gives you all the freedom in the world to find someone that's in a path that maybe you're looking to get into but are not currently in. And then, like I said, so that really broadens your available potential types of mentors. I think that's huge, and I think that's also a way to get over the hump of maybe you're not as outgoing in your company, but interfacing with an app is something that can be done effectively and anonymously, and so the barrier to entry gets lowered as well. So there's a number of benefits to that. I love it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think, especially with our community, is some people do want to be known, some people don't meet, don't want to be known yet. So kind of being able to use that platform to keep exactly your point anonymity there that way we can have those connections and maybe connecting over calls or whatever it might be, or even chats, you know, just to kind of mentor that way, whatever everyone feels comfortable with. So I think it provides a really nice medium to do so.

Speaker 2:

I love it and for the time being, I also just want to throw it out there. We talk about it every week. We all are in the Discord. If you need mentorship today, all you have to do is pop in our Discord and you can talk to any of us, and we're happy to at least talk to the situation. Find you a good fit. There's a lot of great people in the corporate strategy Discord that are both experienced and have lots of room to grow, like myself. So we might need mentorship and seek it at the same time. So do get in there and we'll tell you how to do that in just a minute. But before we do that, any final thoughts from our awesome guests today Alex Sterling.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean I can go first if Sterling is good with it. I just want to reiterate the high level points. Right, that I agree with Sterling.

Speaker 1:

You should always be looking to be mentored and if you can help mentor others, I think it just makes sense to be a student constantly and I think it just makes sense to help your fellow humans if you can.

Speaker 1:

And then, beyond that, I think approaching everything from a point of view of humility, right, both as the mentor and as the mentee, so that you're open to feedback and your mentee should be able to give you feedback. As a mentor, you should be able to internalize that as well. And I think if you're able to approach that relationship through humility and honesty, being willing to take in truths that you hear, I think it's going to be a very beneficial relationship for everybody involved. And I think, you know, for folks that think mentoring might just be another chore for them, right, Remember, it could be a very satisfying thing to see somebody develop further through your assistance, and it's just that in and of itself is really worth it. But if you don't think it is because I agree with Sterling that you shouldn't get into it for the wrong reasons, then maybe you know, don't do it. But if you think you can handle that and the reward of seeing development is enough, then by all means. I think anybody that can should mentor.

Speaker 4:

A lot of mic drop element. I mean, what can I possibly add to that? You know, the only thing that I'll say to that is that don't be afraid. You know we want to help and we want to be helped I think all of us. And I think taking that first step understanding where you want to get to and just knowing that there was no one out there that's had any amount of success that did it on their own, and knowing that, don't be afraid to ask for help.

Speaker 3:

Well said, and I can also add one final note. I truthfully think I would not be where I am my career without a mentor, so I highly recommend it. I think it's. It's a game changer, especially when you don't have people around you that worked in the same industry, that understand the same context you're in. Finding that mentor is what is often going to help you lead to a successful career, whatever that might mean for you. Right, you know more money, climb the corporate ladder. You know whatever it might be just being established in the industry. So find that mentor and that's going to be a game changer for you and your career.

Speaker 2:

It could surprise you. There was one point in time I was Clark's mentor and now we switched roles and he is mine. So it's a it's a wild world of mentorship out there. Thank you, sterling. Thank you, alex Capitalist correspondent, for joining us today. We really appreciate you bringing the heat. I mean this is fantastic in terms of mentorship. For those that heard about the discord the way you get in there Super easy. So just check the show notes. It's just click join the discord on there. If you are stubborn and maybe you do need a mentor, you can also go to our website. It's corporate strategybiz. Join the discord in there. But it's a great group of people. We all look out for each other, we've got a good vibe and we all care about making each other better in every way. So it's a little bit of mentorship every day in a fun place. So get in there, hey Clark. What else do?

Speaker 3:

they need to do. Oh, there's so much. Well, if you're on the podcast platform already, share, share with your friends, share with your enemies. Everybody could be a better corporate citizen out there in a corporate strategy. So if this would, if you think it's going to be beneficial to anybody, please share, because it's the best way for us to grow. And if you go to our website, we also do have. Buy me a coffee now. Thank you, bruce, so you can actually give us a dollar or two if you like what we're doing, because we are completely self-hosted, right out of Bruce's pocket. I can't do anything, so he's going to be bankrupt, Bruce, in no time. So if you guys want to help poor Bruce, who's bleeding money out the year for this podcast, go in there. Throw us a coffee. We'd really appreciate it. And our newsletter is fixed, so we'll have all our episodes on the website. You can enter your email on the website as well and get notified the seconds the new episode becomes available, so you can be the first to listen and get excited about the topic.

Speaker 2:

One more big shout out to our guests Alex Restrepo and Sterling Wilson. Thank you again for joining us today and for our listeners. Don't try putting a square peg in a round hole. I'm Bruce and I'm Clark and you're on mute. We'll see you next week.

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The Difference Between Coaches and Mentors
Effective Mentorship and Mentor-Mentee Relationships
Benefits and Importance of Mentorship