Seth Godin and Brian Koppelman have had a great series of conversations on Brian’s The Moment podcast. Here’s a little something on the subject of mentors and feedback:
Seth Godin: The memo is only four sentences long. That’s all I needed. That a fellow traveller who knows how to do the craft of giving me feedback gave me those key lines, that’s the kind of notes that I need…
Brian Koppelman: Fellow traveller is a great expression and a great way to think about who you should enlist in your journey. And a fellow traveler doesn’t mean someone who’s already in Wyoming if you’ve starting out in New York. A fellow traveller is someone somewhere along the path that you’re going, somewhere close to where you are. Perhaps they’ve made the trip before.
SG: The whole mentor thing is way overrated… First of all, the math of it doesn’t scale, because the number of people who are successful who can mentor the number of people who need to be mentored doesn’t work.
Number two is, it’s usually an uneven exchange, in the sense that you’re asking someone who is busy and leveraged to stop that and start doing something else with you.
But the real reason is that people who are successful are almost never good at actually coaching people who aren’t successful yet. It’s a totally different skill set…The Moment, 1st January 2019
This touches on and unpacks my motivation for writing Ordinary People. Good Work. and adds a some extra ideas into the mix. Find fellow travellers.* Start talking.
*WordPress wants me to spell it one a single L.