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December 15, 2005


Ed Brenegar

A thought or two about finding a mentor ... It is like searching for a new CEO of a business or a pastor of a church. The person you want isn't searching to be a mentor. He is already one. What I mean is that you have to recruit this person. The qualifications that you list above are a good place to begin excluding potential candidates. The deeper question is what do you need to learn, and who out there is best able to help you learn it.
Second thought ... based on what you have written, my guess is that you are going to a new stage of growth. Several years ago I heard a presentation by a HR person from Saturn. She talked about ascending S-curves. Visualize this ... the first curve begins moving up and to the right, gradually increasing in steepness until it begins to level off and then drop off. There is the first S-curve. Her point is that we need to be able to identify when growth begins to plateau, and it is at that point we look to change how we are working. There is a saying that gets passed around, "Stupidity is doing the same things over and over again expecting different results." So, it may well be that what you are looking for is not what you had with Bas, but someone else. And that person isn't looking to be your mentor but is willing to become yours by your invitation. This fall I assisted a client in the search for a new CEO. I asked a colleague who is in the executive search business how we should approach it. She told me, you advertise the job, and you'll get 500 resumes and none are right. You have to recruit the person you want. She was right. They recruited a young man from right here in town. Everyone seems to be pleased.
Happy hunting.

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