Mentoring is perhaps one of the most natural and engrained processes of animal evolution. Jay Harman’s book ‘Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation’ spurred me to research Meerkats and learn about their unique behaviours. Meerkats guide their young ones to occasionally stop running, pop their head up, look around, adjust course, then keep going.
Mentors are your life line to keep you sane as an entrepreneur. They are like co-pilots, anchors and connectors, who make little leaps of faith in you which in hindsight become turning points.
Great mentors focus on the whole person. They provide a safe space for you to express your vulnerabilities. They organise your thinking by asking probing questions. Good mentors don’t try to change your core. Instead, they work with your inherent strengths and shortcomings. Good mentorship is the bridge between experience and grit.
I’ve relied time and again on 2 mentors; both men whom I jokingly call my agony aunts. One is my brother Arvind Sankaran and the other is my childhood friend Raghuram Rajan. I talk out my confusions to them, they listen patiently with intent and I always return with clarity.
My own natural instinct is to be a guide to students, fellow entrepreneurs and women leaders.