Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mentoring Cloud

It is Thanksgiving today and I have turkey tenders in the oven and a very soft stuffing as am in the middle of dental work. I have to run and get my pies ready to put in the oven, but thought I should mention something I just read, the "Mentoring Cloud."

Herein is almost a direct quote:
The cloud-based platform enables members within an organization to collaborate and support one another to achieve their personal, academic, and professional aspirations. Members can easily connect as subject-matter experts, mentors, mentees, and peers, around specific goals and areas of mutual interest.
The article that mentions the "Mentoring Cloud," is on the news ticker on top of this blog, an article from Forbes, Great Mentors Are Essential For Success, But How Do You Find Them?

Forbes states, "MentorCloud is private-labeled to a particular organization so members, whether they are employees at a company or entrepreneurs/mentors at an accelerator, or alumni/students of an academic institution, need to be invited to their respective private networks."

I better get back to the kitchen, after all, this is Thanksgiving day. I have much to be thankful for, but I am thinking if I should write this or not ???

To be honest, I never had a mentor as described. Can not help but wonder how my life would have been different if I had one? I would say I had the complete opposite of a good mentor and the first item in regard to mentoring is "Do No Harm." What is fascinating, I did not realize it until recently. Until I saw a "real mentor," in action, I had no clue. For a day, I observed someone who does not use the word, "mentoring," talk to his adult students of years ago. WOW, is all I can say after realizing what I missed out on.

Thus, if you have a great mentor go for keeps. If you have none, realize one day that you had a negative one, and you never were part of your mentor's network, please realize that you can do it on your own! Be persistent, keep your long-term goal in mind as your path may be the most interesting of all. Please do not take the "mentor's" words to heart today or those of yesteryear. Your mentor had his own agenda and continues to let you know it. He had no idea what makes you tick, no clue as to who you were, who you are, essentially never took the time to find out. Before email, did he write a single letter to you when he was overseas? Mentoring is not for everyone, some have too much on their personal plate. If you find yourself with this type of mentor, get the courage to make an appointment with whomever your mentor ultimately reports to. Most probably the mentor felt the same as the mentee.

I would like to add one small phrase to the article in Forbes, "Great mentors may be keys to success, they can open as well as close doors, do not let one close the door on you." Mentors are not the only way one can succeed, in fact, there is no greater pleasure than opening doors by yourself, although a little help with those heavy ones would be appreciated. In the end my conclusion is . . .

Better NONE than a BAD ONE!


  1. "First: Do no harm" is a wise maxim for any mentor. As mentees themselves grow into their capacity to mentor, it's great to find people still able to offer support and encouragement. The iconic "Batman-Robin" team is rare and doesn't capture the realities of an evolving relationship. The student can, indeed, surpass the master.

  2. Yes, another view on young mentors, a link from our news ticker cites an article at, entitled: "Need to Teach Drives Many Mentors"in which the Associate Dean for faculty recruitment and professional development at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine reported to GEN (Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News,) “Our experimental approach to coaching is not meant to replace but rather complement what research mentors typically provide. Our coaches provide many of the same elements that the best research mentors provide for those young scientists whose mentors are not up to this level of skill or commitment yet.The coaches also are much more knowledgeable and skilled with the issues faced by young scientists who are ‘different’ from the majorities around them and the sense of isolation this can bring."