Seek Mentors 🥰

Jul 08, 2022 1:04 pm

Happy Friday,

Last night I went to the local beekeeping meeting and they went through honey harvesting methods and packaging. Most of the material I was familiar with, but there was enough new information to definitely make my time worthwhile.

This had me thinking though, that the reason that I went to that meeting and joined the club was access to mentors and help as I learned to be a beekeeper.

Sadly, in the tech field, we don't really have clubs like this and we don't really encourage mentorship the way I think we should.

Meetups are about the closest thing we have to such a concept, but they aren't always in an area you live in, their focus may be a bad fit, and you may not have access to experienced people in them.

And for that, I'm just talking about developers. If you're a leader in engineering there is even less help.

I've been a very strong advocate for mentorships when I consult for clients and try to get some sort of mentoring relationships started at each one. The bottom line is that we grow so much faster and better when we have someone experienced to help.

So I want to share some really basic things you can do to start mentoring.

  1. Find someone who is able to do something you admire or respect
  2. Tell them about that thing and ask if they'd mentor you
  3. Define what good mentoring looks like to you
  4. Establish a weekly or bi-weekly 30-minute meeting cadence
  5. Talk through your situation as you try to grow in that area
  6. Put their advice into action
  7. Give them feedback on their mentoring

I'm keeping this brief since this is a newsletter, but this is really it. At the heart of mentoring is the idea that your mentor is there to help you on your path. They are serving your agenda. This is very different than traditional performance feedback that many people have in 1:1 conversations.

In a good mentoring relationship you establish trust and healthy boundaries that you can stay within. From there you can open up about your struggles, successes, and questions. Your mentor can help more expertly guide you with that foundation of trust and openness.

I bet that for most of you there is someone you learned a lot from in your career or life. I'd also bet you got that learning from an accidental mentorship instead of an intentional one. Hopefully, it's not hard to imagine how much more profound your advancement and growth would be in a more intentional mentoring relationship would be.

Having said all of this, I'm describing a pretty intense, yet rewarding mentoring relationship. However, any type of mentoring you can get is worth getting.

There is no prize at the end of our lives by saying, "I did it without help."

So, get out there, find a mentor, and be a mentor. Also, I'd love to hear a story from you about someone who mentored or had an impact on you!

Here's my weekly update for July 8th, 2022...

🗒️ What Almost Every Example of User Stories Gets Wrong


User stories are ubiquitous these days as the method of representing work that development teams need to do.

Yet, very few groups ever really understand them well enough to get much value out of them.

While I still think user stories are an excellent tool, in this article, I will show yet another problem people have when writing them.

Click here to read more

🗒️ Seven Weird Lessons From the Fortune 100


For the better part of eight years, I’ve been consulting for the Fortune 100.I thought I’d share some quirky truths I’ve learned along the way.

Before I go into them, some clients don’t exhibit these truths, but they’re an exception.

Click here to read more


Ryan Latta