Ideally, our mentors serve as positive role models for us in addition to giving us career and emotional support. However, I want to introduce the idea of inspirational mentors to this forum as well. An inspirational mentor can be someone that you don’t know personally but that inspires you because of their work, their accomplishments, or simply their personhood (perhaps all three).
We live in a time where we can gather a lot of information about people very easily via the internet by the way of YouTube clips, twitter feeds, blogs and so on. I think that studying the life and the work of people who are prominent in a particular field can be a great way to be inspired and start thinking about who they would like to have as mentors. For example, when my co-author and I interviewed politicians for Power Mentoring many people mentioned Martin Luther King as their inspirational mentor, even though they had not met him personally.
Sheryl Sandberg is my current inspirational mentor, in terms of her style of public speaking and her advocacy for women’s careers; I find that she projects intelligence and warmth. She did a talk for TED:
Take a look and see what you think. I think her points are cogent, well made, supported by research and she is fun and interesting to watch. She has some cute personal examples that are quite humorous. I think you will enjoy!
I encourage you to think about this and leave a comment – Who are your inspirational mentors?
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