From my mentors:

1. Make time for nobodies

Being a mentor isn’t so much about investing in the future (predicting a person’s outcome) as it is about investing in the present. People are hard to predict. Life is full of people who had it all but didn’t ‘turn out.’ Instead, the best way to size up people today is as they are, well, today.

2. Take the blame

The people I look up to always own it. Even when it’s not theirs to own. As I’ve watched this play out, issues almost always dissipate and disappear. What’s left is not a mess, but a person we all trust more.

3. Don’t complain, solve

Both complaining and solving take a lot of energy, and you can rarely do them both well. Complaining is about getting someone else to fix the problem. While solving it about you doing it yourself. The value to solving is that you are the one that benefits the most.

4. Don’t burn bridges

I wrote some about this already (here). My temptation, when upset, is to cut ties and be done with it. One of the most striking things about the mentors in my life is how few bridges they burn.

5. Patience is the greatest virtue

Ben Franklin once said, “he that can have patience can have what he wills.” Patience is a measure of focus and perseverance. As such, the successful people I know put a high value on patience (and discipline).

6. Everyone has keys

This is an issue of value. Every single person who has invested in me has done it when they shouldn’t have. When I couldn’t do anything of worth back for them. Instead, each one of them has treated me like I could. That is empowering like few other things are.

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