Sunday, April 10, 2011


“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” - Isaac Newton

Once again, life is all about relationships, all (I mean, all) other things are just details. You are where you are today strongly because of certain relationships and no doubt, you (and I) must be deliberate about them. It’s a choice. Do make a good one. To guide us, I have been on a series titled: BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS and this is the 6th (Now if you are just joining, kindly go to to read the first 5-this doesn’t stop you from continuing this though). I have said let’s call these levels of relationship; THE 4M’s of relationship for easy remembrance: MENTOR, MATE, MENTEE AND MARITAL. That said; let’s get on with the mentee relationship.

Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the mentee)"-Wikipedia. I’ll like you in this series to see yourself in both positions; as a mentee and mentor. One of the undoings in our generation is that values, ideals, character, discipline are in the true sense not passed to the succeeding generations and this is perhaps one of the reasons we have mediocre performances in our various spheres of influence. Maybe the mentor doesn’t want to be outshined, maybe the mentee isn’t paying the right attention, maybe the mentor doesn’t have enough time, maybe the mentor wasn’t mentored-he got it ‘the hard-earned way’(you get me) and these ‘maybes’ could be the reasons why we have not had new breeds. My challenge today is that you are mentored (seek for) and that you also become a mentor-it doesn’t matter if you have not ‘arrived’ (do not allow the society determine how ‘successful’ you are or otherwise, you are ‘performing a show’ to an ‘audience’; Christ). If you have attained a measure of success in life then you have a story, help that other younger persons-the next generation. As a write, I have been really troubled in the area where I co-shepherd, I see young folks with great potentials but lack models, counsel or direction and who are already going astray. It grieves my heart greatly. I am pressured to begin a mentoring school in that light. Before I go any further, I’d like us to see some of the folks we have termed successes in our generation and see how they were mentored (directly and indirectly).

There have been many famous mentor-protege pairs throughout history. One of the earliest and most well-known was Paul of Tarsus and Timothy, a first-century Christian bishop. Minister, activist, and Morehouse college president Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays served as a mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr.; and the poet Ezra Pound guided a fledgling T.S. Eliot through his literary career. Most recently, the protege concept has been illustrated through billionaire Donald Trump's reality television show The Apprentice, where young men and women compete for the opportunity to claim Trump as their business mentor.

There aren’t too many people that have had a more profound effect on the world than Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi, like you and I had a mentor, Dadabhai Naoroji. Dadabhai helped start the Indian Independence Movement in 1857 and Gandhi was able to complete the task on August 15th 1947 which handed the country of India back to it’s people. This movement was the first and largest non violent resistance the world had ever seen and involved 50 million people within India. This all came from a person who had limited success starting a law practice in Mumbai and was also turned down for a part-time teaching position. While not being a direct mentor, Gandhi has been noted as an inspiration for Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela among others.
It’s difficult to imagine that one of the most successful investors the world has seen was mentored at one time.

In fact, Warren Buffett was mentored by Ben Graham while at Columbia University. Buffett celebrates Graham’s book, The Intelligent Investor, as the greatest book on investing ever written. It’s interesting to note that Ben Graham once owned a small insurance company you may have heard of before, GEICO. Apparently Ben Graham taught his student well as Warren Buffett now owns GEICO.

Mother Teresa committed her life to God through good works and truly helping others. Instead of living a comfortable life in a convent, she decided to live among the poorest of the poor and help them even though she had no income to speak of. Mother Teresa received permission from the Vatican to start Missionaries of Charity. It started with 13 members to help the hungry and homeless - those shunned by society. Today, there are more than 4,000 nuns operating orphanages, AIDS hospices, and various charities worldwide. She led a remarkable and revered life, but she may not have achieved all that she did if it weren’t for her mentor, Father Michael van der Peet

Michael Jordan is arguably the best basketball player to ever play the game. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant might think otherwise, but they are referred to as “the Next Jordan”, not the other way around. Michael Jordan was a great player, having earned Rookie of the Year, but it wasn’t until he was joined with his coach and mentor, Phil Jackson, that he flourished. Under Phil Jackson’s first year as coach of the Chicago Bulls, and the help of young players Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant, Michael Jordan and the Bulls were able to win their first NBA title. Michael Jordan amassed 6 NBA titles and became the most decorated NBA player ever under Phil Jackson.

You’re only limited by what you think is possible. Figure out what you want and then find someone who’s done it. Get a mentor (become one), ask for their counsel, become comfortable with what they’ve done, and then make it your own.

There are still loads to talk about, do watch out for the next post this coming weekend.

Be all YOU CAN!

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