Above image from http://www.clker.com/clipart-172996.html, public domain|
I am a big Gary Vaynerchuk (pronounced Vay-ner-chuk) fan. I've read his books, "The Thank You Economy," "Crush It!" and am working on "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook." For those of you who are not familiar with him, he's a guy who took his family's liquor store and morphed it into "Wine Library." Then, on 2006, when most of us were just mastering the Internet, he blazed a trail with the "Wine Library" video blog. He's a one of a kind and with a nod to my Dad, an immigrant.
I admire his smarts (the guy is wicked smart on the whole social marketing thing, a Jedi Knight is more like it.) But more than that, I respect his passion. Here is a guy who had achieved the "American Dream" and decided, "I want my own American dream." He's done it. Gary cites as a future goal the purchase of the New York Jets. I would not put it past him. I've got a couple of links to him below and I invite you to check him out, if only for the value of seeing him talk. I bet his energy will rub off. I know it has on me.
This week, he put out a post about the value of the time he spent with his Dad on the ride between their liquor store and home everyday. He speaks to many of the benefits he received from those trips. However, there was one that caught my attention in particular. He discusses how those rides and talks allowed his Dad to provide mentorship to him in a most fundamental way. Gary writes about his Dad:
"...having someone to guide my energy during the early years of my entrepreneurship was very special to me."
This quote to me sums up to me perhaps the essence of coaching & mentoring, the directing of energy.
Earl Woods took his son's amazing golf talents and guided them to the pinnacle of golf. Yet Earl Woods didn't even carry Tiger's bag. It was Tiger's work. Tiger hit the drive, made the putt, read the green, and mastered his emotions on the big stage of golf. And yet, behind the scenes, who was directing his energy? In the early days and well into his career, it was his Dad.
I think we all are mentors and protégées. We can all direct the energy of people we love and care about. My wife mused last night that some of the best bonding she has done with our kids is when she drove them around. I see a lot of merit in that comment.
What I like about Gary's post and comment is that almost by accident, certainly not by design, his father's mentorship gave him that most critical yet oh-so-hard to define definition of mentoring, the guiding of energy. We should all look for opportunities to guide others and be willing to receiving guidance from those mentors we are lucky to have in our lives. The mentor is the compass, that shows us where we are on the map. It's up to us to decide if we're off course or not. We have to walk the path. That takes energy. Mentors can help us make the most of our energy, even if we do not realize it at the time. Perhaps the true value in mentorship. It's a compass that is unseen yet always points to "true north."
Be well my friends,