Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Mentor Resurgence

As I reviewed my social activity from my past week spent in San Diego at the IBM Amplify conference I noticed that it wasn’t the Twitter videos of me and my colleagues rocking out to Aloe Blacc’s performance that drove the most engagement with my followers. It wasn’t even the quotes from Deepak Advani’s incredibly exciting keynote presentation or the photos I took of the delicious Chef Watson-prepared drinks. Instead, it was a tweet I sent out with a quote about mentorship from one of my favorite social influencers, Daniel Newman, that drove the most RTs, favorites and responses.

The quote was as follows: “Mentorship isn’t a generational thing, it’s an everybody thing.” Why did something so simple blow my other tweets out of the water? I would like to think that the message itself answers that question: mentorship is something EVERYONE can agree on.

Daniel made this statement during the millennial panel he participated in during the “Reinvention in the Age of the Millennial” session. Fellow millennials on the panel agreed along with all of the Gen Xers, millennials and Boomers in the audience. But this wasn’t the only time the word “mentorship” was brought up during my time at Amplify.

Alex Banayan, one of the world’s youngest venture capitalists, spoke about mentorship and its correlation to success numerous times during his talk at the Opening General Session. Mara Winans focused on the power of mentorship during the Women’s Networking Panel and Lunch. I had a lively discussion during a break between sessions with two of my colleagues about what characteristics make for an ideal mentor.

For a term that’s existed for as long as we know, it sure feels like it’s having a resurgence.

I personally have many mentors in my life – some who help guide my professional development and some whom I speak to purely about personal matters. When I think back to how I met each of my mentors, all but one of them were people I met via social.

Ted Rubin, another incredible social influencer, is a mentor of mine whom I look to for career advice. I met Ted by tweeting to him four years ago to ask if he’d be open to mentoring a millennial marketer. From that one tweet came four years of unparalleled advice and business knowledge.

Brian Williams (no not THAT Brian Williams), an IBMer I met via IBM Connections, has guided me through the ins and outs of the IBM universe. I met him in a Connections community the week I started at the company and he volunteered to mentor me since he knew IBM like the back of his hand. I’m not sure how I would’ve survived my first six months at the company without him.

No wonder so many diverse followers of mine were attracted to Daniel’s quote! Social has truly brought mentorship to the next level and the relationships formed from a simple tweet or direct message often have a lasting effect on all generations.

from Social Business Insights Blog

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