“Success in life is the result of good judgment. Good judgment is usually the result of experience. Experience is usually the result of bad judgment.” ~ Tony Robbins. In an earlier generation, parents would have their children leave the room when they began talking about adult topics. These grown-up conversations tended to focus on past mistakes, poor judgment, character lapses, and the fact that they survived. These adult conversations were restricted because they revealed vulnerabilities and harsh lessons. Besides, who wants to lose face in front of young people whom you want to look up to you?
In building my sports media business, I get to speak with young athletes, assorted coaches and multiple entrepreneurs. The athletes and coaches provide content so that we report more interesting stories. Regarding entrepreneurs, I want to understand specific business issues that I can help them resolve through various marketing solutions. In all cases, I demonstrate and apply my knowledge to create value by helping others. But, how do I navigate building a business, creating value for others and developing my skills to deliver even more value? I maintain adult conversations that focus on past mistakes, poor judgment, character lapses, and the fact that I survived.
Unlike parents, mentors are best when they share their own vulnerabilities and harsh lessons. Typically, mentors are portrayed as wise, old people who share wisdom to eager, young learners. In reality, great mentors have different sets of experiences than their protégés, not necessarily more. Equally important, mentors no longer have to be older. Far more interestingly, great mentors benefit from the relationship as much as the protégé by remaining relevant. The protégé benefits from new ways of approaching new problems, or old ways of approaching “new” problems, while their more experienced mentor provides insight, not necessarily answers. Consequently, having mentors and deploying their wisdom in the marketplace is an incredible competitive advantage.
Clearly, faster and better to market are also competitive advantages, and that dynamic also applies to information. When talking to my mentors they share fascinating information. We talk about their accomplishments and their recent problems. I can then map their proven solutions, and the logic behind them, to both my clients’ and my challenges. I don’t ask my mentors to solve my clients’ problems. I seek wisdom on life and business regarding how they solved problems and what they learned in the process. When a mentor told me that he was travelling to see his daughter deliver a very complex, academic presentation (that he may or may not understand), I realized that my sports media sponsors need to connect with parents who have similarly prioritized supporting their children’s endeavors in athletics. Facilitating and monetizing that emotional connection in my marketing is essential to success.
Adult conversations reflect talking to others possessing wisdom and experience. Combining wisdom and success results in broader perspectives concerning persistence and possibilities. Professionals who have experienced enduring success fully embrace that possibilities abound and that opportunities are imminent! Take their optimism and their caution, then spread it to those who need to hear it. Don’t make them learn it. Simply share it. Help clients, partners, and followers by presenting acquired wisdom in terms that the target audience can understand it. Let you mentors’ wisdom solve your clients’ problems. You don’t benefit from inventing solutions, you benefit by delivering solutions that can manifest into positive action. Adults understand this.
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Mo Patton Sports, LLC
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