Before starting this blog, I used to write for a variety of other blogs. 90% of that was ghostwriting, so I won’t share much of it here, but 10% was under my own name. When it makes sense, I like to go back and revisit some of those old posts.
This is one of my favorites: Fortune Favors The Prepared Mentee. I don’t like to say that many business books are a “big deal”. Far too many are repetitive and would be better served as a podcast or really tightly produced NPR piece. But Lean In was a big deal. Sandberg had a point of view that felt both new and relevant to me, and perhaps most importantly, she put MEAT into that book. It wasn’t fluff – I feel like I can go back to it again and again for new nuggets of insight, even if I don’t agree with all of them.
That is why I felt called to write a post just about her one point on the mentor/mentee relationship. I won’t rehash the whole post here (read it instead), but I just reread it myself as a good reminder of how to approach other professionals to ask for help or advice. Very few of us have extra time in our day. We want to help others, but if we get a spare moment, it is perfectly reasonable that we use that spare moment to take a nap or read a novel for fun. That’s why it is so important that when we ask another professional to take some time to give us advice, we do so respectfully.
Sandberg has expanded on the success of her book (not surprisingly) to start an organization/online community: http://leanin.org. I haven’t spent a lot of time on the website yet, but I have been checking out their LinkedIn group and I’m finding some good content. Mostly posted by career coaches and leadership consultants, but there is content mixed in with the promotion. Another good resource to keep in your pocket when you need professional inspiration.