We all say that we have mentors, but do we really? When was the last time you spoke to your mentor? Do you even need to speak to someone on a regular basis for them to be considered a mentor?
Many would argue that you don't need to speak to someone on a regular basis for them to be considered a mentor. I happen to agree. Mentors provide a framework for making a decision - you don't need to speak to someone or gather their real time feedback for them to impact your decision. Many times we find ourselves asking "what would so and so do?"
But, how deliberate are we about calling on mentors? Do you have an inventory of people in, or who have been a part of your life that you think of when making certain decisions? When I face challenges that call on my character or moral compass, I often think of my Fiance, Stephanie, or my family, especially my parents. My Grandfather, before he passed away, provided many wisdom-filled anecdotal lessons. I'll think to myself what would one of these individuals advise me to do in this moment.
When it comes to making heart healthy choices, I think of Dr. Lars Svensson, the internationally recognized and famed Cleveland Clinic surgeon who did my 3rd open heart surgery or one of my Cardiologists, whom I have a lot of trust in.
I've had the privilege of learning from some of the best business operators, some who hold distinguished roles for Fortune 100 companies. One in particular, Heather P. When confronted with challenges that call on my leadership skills, I ask myself how would Heather approach this? When confronted with the challenges that call on my operations skills, I think of Harry B. Harry taught me lessons many years ago that still prove true today.
Point I'm trying to make is that we all have wonderful mentors who have shaped how we make decisions, but the real the question is: are we deliberate about thinking of them and using them as a reference point when making decisions?
The best mentors can be silent mentors, meaning you hardly (or never) speak to them. I would argue that you would have had to have had substantial interaction with them to establish a pattern of the decision making tendencies but once the pattern is established, frameworks could be deduced from previous interactions.
Effective decision making and simply being right is critical to success in any area of your life. Start being more effective by referencing those who have demonstrated an ability to lead you to the right decision.
Thank you to my silent mentors:
SA, KK, PK, MK, RA, JC, WK, TK, CS, AK, HP, HB, NH, KT, JW, DM.