I don’t know about you, but when I get sick I tend to sit around and watch a lot of television.  What did we do before satellite?

No, I didn’t have the swine flu…more like the stupid cold.  I didn’t feel like reading or gazing at the computer so I spent a great deal of time watching NBA basketball, PGA golf, and reruns of Gunsmoke and Bonanza.  After watching two episodes from the inaugural season of Bonanza from 1959, I decided to hop off the couch and do a little trivia research on this American classic.

I read that Pernell Roberts, who played Adam Cartwright, left the show in 1965 to expand his horizons as an actor.  It seems that Lorne Greene tried to talk him out of it telling him they had a great deal going that would make him rich for the rest of his life.  Greene had advised Dan Blocker and Michael Landon the same thing.  Roberts didn’t take the mentoring and spent the next 14 years wallowing in mediocrity until he had a semi-successful run as Trapper John MD.

Turns out Greene was right.  All three became wealthy from the 14-year run (Blocker died unexpectedly before the final season).  Lorne Greene turned into a valuable mentor.

So who mentors you?  If you have a mentor, do you listen?

I’ve been fortunate to have been surrounded by great mentors in my business career.  Just in the past 4 years, I’ve been mentored in one way or another from the likes of Alan Weiss, Scott Simmonds, Darren LaCroix, Patricia Fripp, Ed Tate, and Craig Valentine.  Never heard of them, huh?

Well, if you aren’t a consultant or speaker, you probably wouldn’t.  That’s my career path.  My guess is that you’ve got mentors available in your career path who’ve been where you want to go both personally and professionally.  It takes a certain level of humility to be mentored.  The reality is that if you trust the person you’re being mentored by, and apply the lessons you learn from them, that you will bypass some of the arrows and find success in your career path quicker.

Tiger Woods had mentors.  They can’t hit a golf ball as well as him, but they have expertise and skills he needs to help him become the greatest golfer on the planet.

Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks blistered the Miami Heat on Sunday.  I don’t know the names of any of his coaches or mentors, but as a former high school basketball coach I can tell you he didn’t get to this level of play by himself.  I remember the words of one of my mentors Patricia Fripp, “You can’t be brilliant by yourself.”

Turns out my weekend of sickness led me to discover examples of something I already believe in..the power of mentoring.  Whether you need it for business or personal growth, mentoring is an important concept for everybody to grab hold of.

Take a lesson from Pernell Roberts.  Learn from your mentors and find your road to success (whatever that is for you) more quickly.


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