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The difference between being a mentor and giving advice | Leadership – Coaching – Life

Dominic sitting in front of a short bookshelf with bright synthwave photos and an LED strip above with floating text over the image with the title of the post.

Thinking a lot about this since today is my daughters 18th. birthday. This day has a lot of reflection on what has happened over the last 18 years. I was only 21 when she was born, which was not only a different time in my life, but the world was an entirely different place.

Part of my reflections of her childhood has made me think about the world she is going into. What kind of world is she entering and how have I and can I prepare her for adulthood.

What I’ve realized is I can’t. I can’t advise someone using my experiences in a world that doesn’t exist anymore.

Our way doesn’t work anymore | Transcript

This transcript was created using automated speech-to-text along with light human editing. Some errors may still exist.

Over the last month, I’ve been thinking a lot about this day, this day today that I’m recording this video, which is my daughter’s my oldest daughter’s 18th birthday. And I’m thinking a lot about this day when it comes to context of being a parent, and then also just being middle aged, and being in my role where I am in my life.

Now thinking back to when she was born in 2003, I was 21 years old, I was a very young parent, I was in a very different place. But also the world was in a much different place than what it is now. And I think that I’ve realized over the last month or so as I’ve been preparing for this day for my daughter’s 18th birthday, that I can’t advise her on what’s going to happen for her life in the future, based on my own past experiences, because the world has changed so drastically, things are so much different.

So let’s go back to 2003. Think about that time, when I was 21 years old, and I’m preparing for my first child, I had found my job in the newspaper, I had hunted around on a few Sundays in a row, I picked out some jobs, I would drive down to the location, I would fill out an application on site. In one case, they interviewed me the same day and a couple of days later, they offered me a job, I ended up working there 18 years.

So my path that I took was much much different than what it’s like looking for a job in 2021 and beyond. I didn’t have to deal with algorithms scanning my LinkedIn and my resume for keywords to see how I match. I didn’t have recruiters that their whole job is to go out and find people and also weed out people that they think someone else wants to work with. They’re hiring people that don’t even work directly for them. They’re hiring for someone else who would also then work for someone else. So my experience back in 2003, when I first started looking for a job is much, much different than what it takes to find a job in 2021. My past experiences will never match what her future and all young people’s future is going to be.

And that’s the problem with advice is that we want to give advice based on the way the world was not the way the world is, and will be, we took a much different path in order to get here in our life than what the next generation and the generation after that generation after that will take to be able to get into the same position. And that’s something that we need to keep in mind when we’re coaching and mentoring and hiring younger people on our teams and how they see us as leaders, because remember, their path is going to be so much different than what our path is.

They’re coming into a world that is much much different, where remote work is a real viable expected option with there’s lots of companies that run software to be able to track and monitor their employees and do all kinds of Big brother-esque techniques to make sure that their staff is working every minute of every day. They’re coming into a world where stalkerware exists where people can stalk them across the internet on their device, that that’s part of having a relationship in modern times that there’s this threat out there.

They’re also coming into a world where the pandemic has up ended their school life, their personal life, how they’ll be going into the workforce and what the current economy is that they’re going into, where buying a house may not ever be affordable for them. Where buying a car can cost $80,000. The world is a much, much different place compared to what it was in 2003 when she was born, they are also coming into a world with endless possibilities, where location and language are no longer barriers, stopping them from working outside of the geographic area that they currently reside.

And where we get lost as leaders is that we think that everyone wants our advice that we need to be there to provide it for them. But they don’t need us to go on these long diatribes about how things were when we came into this space and how we got here because it’s going to be much different than the way it’s going to be for them. So instead of explaining the future through our lens, what if we took a step back. What if we took a step back and stopped talking, the started listening. What I realized about my daughter’s that she doesn’t need someone to tell her what I would do in her situation. She needs me to be there when she needs help. For me not to be the driver, maybe not even the passenger in the car, but come along for the ride occasionally, to be a friend, a confidant, an ally, when she needs it. And when she can’t figure something out on her own, for me not to jump immediately to answers, but instead helping her figure out the answers for herself. Because those are the real lessons that we need in life. And what helps shape how successful we will be in our future is based on how much information we learn ourselves, not what we absorb from other people. And we need to remember as leaders, that our way is not going to be the way that it is in the future. And it’s not the way that it is now. And we need to take a step back and think about before we give advice that instead of being an advisor, we be a partner and an ally and a friend to the young people that are around us, and let them develop into the world that they understand better than we do.

That’s what I got this time. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Leave a comment below wherever you’re watching this video. There’s a lot of places where you can watch it. That’s all I got for this time.

See you next time.

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