The concept of mentorship is one that can be both powerful and elusive. Mentors can help you elevate your game, point out shortcomings and make introductions to help further your career. But many of us spent a good deal of time without ever finding that perfectly wise, helpful, been-there-done-that successful individual to take us under his or her wings.
In comes the five minute mentor, a concept contextualized by Gary W. Goldstein, the former Hollywood producer of little films like Pretty Woman and Under Siege, who now ‘produces’ businesses. I met Gary when I had the pleasure to interview him at the SOBCon mastermind conference in Chicago.
As Gary pointed out, the traditional concept of a be-all-end-all Yoda type isn’t the only way to be mentored. In fact, mentors are all around us and while we spend time looking for that one long-term relationship, you may be missing the five minute mentors who can teach you important lessons, help you elevate your game and more.
Here are some examples of five minute mentorship that I have noticed or participated in recently:
-I witnessed in the green room at one of the major networks a seasoned TV veteran giving honest and thoughtful feedback to another regular, but younger TV personality.
-I was giving an interview to a reporter in a taxi on the way to the airport regarding customer loyalty in business. When we arrived at the airport, the taxi driver told me that he had been listening to the conversation and learned a lot, thanking me for sharing the knowledge (even though it wasn’t directed to him).
-I had a peer, who had more years of media experience than I do, share some insights on the challenges, frustrations and opportunities of punditry over coffee.
-I have studied the work of people that I have never met, to emulate and up my game.
All of these represent different mentorship opportunities and there are plenty more all around you.
I’ve been fortunate to find some more permanent mentors in my recent days, but it was an organic evolution from a relationship that started out in a five-minute mentor manner.
So, pay attention, because you never know who can become your mentor, even if it’s only for a few minutes, and help you take your career or business to the next level.