The old adage of two brains being better than one still rings true. I mean, look at these two fellas. Bill Gates has long championed Warren Buffet as being his mentor. Not a bad choice.
Some have one mentor. Some have two, ten... No matter the number, one way to think of these mentors or people of admiration is your "personal board of directors" (P.B.O.D.)
Every company, public or private, must have a least one director. The mandate of said director, or directors as per Investopedia, is to establish policies for corporate management and oversight, making decisions on major company issues. Within public companies, the B.O.D. represents the shareholders.
But that's for the company. What about for you?
In this weekend's Wall Street Journal, Microsoft Executive Vice President of Business Development, Peggy Johnson, lent her insight into the people she leans on as her system of checks and balances. "She largely relies on her gut when making big decisions but then 'validates her intuition' by checking in with valued former colleagues, mentors and family as independent advisors."
From a former colleague at Qualcomm, to the CEO of Ulta Beauty to the President of Liberty Media who helped her adjust when she was appointed to her first board seat, Peggy has stacked her roster full of people who have supported her & whose opinions she deeply values.
You only know where you've been, therefore it is vital to tap into and develop genuine relationships with those that may not always know MORE than you, but have had different experiences than you, or have been around the block a few more times.
Check out some famous duos below and their testaments to the value of a P.B.O.D.'s.
Sir Richard Branson. Founder, the Virgin Group.
Mentor: Sir Freddie Laker. Founder, Laker Airways.
Oprah Winfrey. Chairwoman and CEO, HARPO and the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Mentor: Maya Angelou. American poet, Civil Rights activist.
Tim Cook. CEO of Apple.
Mentor: Steve Jobs. Former CEO and Founder of Apple.
Tony Bennett. Jazz musician.
Mentor: Frank Sinatra. Jazz musician.
The lessons learned from mentors are endless. Configuring a personal board of directors will pay major dividends down the road. Who knows, you might even succeed them one day (David Solomon will take the reins after Lloyd Blankfein's retirement.) Mentors come in all forms:
It is important to discover the people whose personalities, integrity and work ethic you admire and then place them on your team. It doesn't always have to be an explicit "will you be my mentor"/"will you be on my personal board."
They know, and you know. Personal relationships are incredibly sacred and given constant effort to maintain & grow, can be incredibly valuable.
Wall Street Journal