Mentoring - Part 2

Keep it Confidential. Clarify the level of confidentiality. You both need to make it clear when something you share should be treated as confidential and never, ever violate this trust.

Determine the Timeframe. Determine the length of your relationship and by all means avoid open-ended mentorship’s. That way both of you can back out without losing face if the mentoring relationship does not meet your expectations. On the other hand, if it goes well you can continue the relationship and set up a new evaluation point.

Measure Progress. Evaluate the relationship from time to time. Inspecting progress from time to time allows you to reinforce predetermined expectations and agreed upon standards of performance.

Encourage Feedback. Although difficult to hear at times, feedback is critical to growth and development. Demonstrate that you are open to hear ideas and suggestions to bring out areas that you may not have discussed at the beginning of your relationship. They may want you to keep on a eye on certain blind spots that were initially overlooked.

Say Goodbye. A happy ending for a mentoring experience involves closure, in which both parties evaluate, recognize how and where empowerment has occurred, and mutually end the mentoring relationship. What frequently happens in successfully closed mentoring is an ongoing friendship that allows for occasional mentoring and future interweaving of lives as needed.



Mentoring – Part 1

Set High Expectations. Expectations should be expressed, negotiated, and agreed upon at the beginning of a mentoring relationship. Sometimes mentoring proves disappointing. This disappointment can frequently be traced back to differing visions expectations.


Know the Purpose. Jointly agree on the purpose of the relationship. When you each know what you want and why you want it, you have the basis for building a wonderful relationship.

Stick to The Schedule. All good things come to those who meet consistently. Determine the regularity of interaction and stick to it.

Mutual responsibility is an important mentoring dynamic that doesn’t just happen – you need to plan for it. Agree together on how you will establish and monitor mentoring tasks. The heart of empowerment lies not only in what the mentor shares but also in the tasks the mentor gives to the protégé. You must complete the tasks in order to benefit. Accountability is the prod to make sure this happens, because change rarely takes place without it. It can occur many ways: phone calls, probing questions during meetings, or a planned evaluation time.

Develop Communication Mechanisms. If the mentor sees or learns of an area of need or concern for you - and it may be negative - how and when do you want your mentor to communicate it to you? Determine this important communication mechanism is advance so that it causes no undue harm or ill feeling later on.



Brand Mastery




Where do we go from here?


I’ve seen suffocation warnings on virtually every plastic bag in the U.S. – including small dog-poo bags. They always get me wondering about the general demise of common sense. Now this.

I just don’t even want to imagine the chain of events that led to Ikea concluding that notices like these are required on toilets in their display washrooms (that have no doors on them).




Google Glass + some insights on failure

Google Glass

Most of us see Google as such a successful colossus that we forget that giants also stumble (and fall), and that success and failure are part of the same coin called life. Here are a few thoughts regarding success and failure.

Perception:  put failure in the right perspective; it’s an opportunity to regroup and learn while accepting the (failed) experiment as part of the journey of life and success.

Change:  change depreciates the value of specific historical information, making specific predictions difficult and correspondingly risky. But what goes about comes about – and while specific predictions are difficult, trends are not. Build a business plan that acknowledged the inevitable – but is not dependent on the specific. For example, northern cities all plan for snow removal based on historic trends. Specific snow days and snow volumes for the upcoming year are anyone’s guess.

Limitation:  in a world of limitation, the fundamental question is not whether people should accept failure. Rather, the question is how to anticipate failure and redirect resources to grow from the experience. On any given day there are so many variables beyond our control that it would be foolhardy to design a business plan that does not include a failure-factor. For example. At the retail level theft, breakage + returns are built into the retail price.

Information:  scarcity of good information will present itself somewhere, somehow, sometime. The key is to learn from what this new failure teaches you and prevent it, if at all possible, from happening again. For example. At the retail level we know some of our products will be broken or stolen but not which ones.

Perfection: it's unattainable - period. In most industries failure is the most inevitable outcome. So any assumption regarding perfection stands at odds with the most fundamental premise of success: failure is inevitable.

Planning:  because we cannot predict then future, we need to do our best to infer the best course through uncharted waters practically + intuitively. It’s how our ancestors discovered and settled the entire world. Today we’re exploring the solar system with exciting new tools, but the bottom line is the same for yesterday, today and tomorrow’s explorers: we do our best to estimate and anticipate risk and failure with a tolerable level of precision.

Execution:  failure is not only the output of an unsuccessful activity; it is also the input of a successful one. Performance only changes and improves to the degree that you change and improve as a result of successful and failed tests.

Consequence:  some look at failure as an extremely blunt instrument and surrender their dreams because of its potential consequences. Although tempting, do not allow the consequences of failure to harden your heart. The world is littered with the victims of failure. Yet failure leads to victory. Use each failure as feedback in your constant progression toward your goals.

Morris Saffer, one of my most insightful mentors taught me that we shouldn’t worry about stumbling or falling because that's inevitable. “Focus on how you recovery from the fall. That's what separates the winners from those who also ran.”