A lot of people see me as a mentor to others and its certainly a role I have played over numerous years, but does a mentor have mentors. Absolutely is the answer. Even Branson has a mentor. In fact all of the great people I know have had some awesome mentors over the years. Mine tend not to be figureheads or even people who have done amazing things but they are people I felt I needed to learn from and here is a brief on each of them.
Steve Bilos – Sales
Steve was for many years my true sales mentor and I guess I can thank him for my best selling sales book from 2001, which I did in the back of the book. What made Steve so unique was that he immigrated to Australia in the late 1960’s and couldn’t speak a word of english. He went into sales when he was still learning English with a view to only by getting his communication right. The key to him being a brilliant salesman and mentor was that he asked incredible questions and had people slow their answers down and be very sure of what they said (so that he could understand it was his message). This of course gave him great insights and control of situations and he always knew exactly what people needed.
Jeff & Sandra Applebee – Relationships
I have known these two for twenty years. Both of them are now over 60. I spent time with them in Adelaide just prior to Christmas. They are still so much in love and respect for each other. It’s incredible. Watching Sandra walk into a shop Jeff commented: “God stop me…I could just take her home and %$# right now…isn’t she hot?’ I love how they still have that playful curiosity in their lives even though they have run a business together and traveled the world together for over twenty years.
Paul Dunn is a mentor to many. An extraordinary human who is 67 going on 17 in energy. I want to be Paul when I am that age. He is a DJ, creates cutting edge programs and ideas, is the chairman on Buy 1 Give 1 and seriously just gives and gives and gives. He has amazing ideas and I love to bounce my business ideas around with him. I wonder if he ever sleeps, but he is always in great spirits and loves life. An amazing man.
Whilst a little older than Paul, Graeme is equally as energetic and makes the air miles I do look passive. Im meeting with him today in fact before he heads off to New York. Graeme epitomises leadership and vision and a never say die attitude that has taken his company from his idea to public and over 100m a year in turnover. He is still making ten year plans. Some people I know stopped doing that at 40.
Glen has an amazing view of health. Sometimes he’s hard out training, other times he enjoys a beer as much as I do. He has a balance that most truly physical people do not. He is about no patterns and breaking rythym to make sure the body doesnt get into a zone and this keeps the metabolism going real fast.
What can you say about someone you have visited over twenty countries together with, who you have laughed til you threw up, cried til you dried up and has supported every one of your crazy ideas for over five years. Simply the truest friend. And sometimes the harshest critic, but all with total love in his heart.
Who are your mentors? Who do you mentor? When people come to me and ask me to mentor them my first question is ‘who do you mentor’. To be a great mentoree firstly you have to be a great mentor. That is one of the best ways to develop. In all my years of mentoring people I truly believe I have gotten more value from the exchanges than they have… so here is a tip
Go and mentor someone today.