Even Einstein Needed Mentoring

Maher ElMallakh
January 5, 2016

When we first hear the word “Mentoring”, we usually get one of two impressions.

First, the classroom teacher that you used to hate when you were in high school. Second, your sports coach that used to run next to you and then yell, “Run, run, run!”

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In these few coming minutes, I would ask you to drop your presumptions for a moment.

I would like you to close your eyes and think about someone who had an impact on your life. Someone who spent hours with you discussing some minute details in your life. Someone that you can call in the middle of the night when you need a second opinion.

Now, that’s a real mentor!

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How old is the concept of mentoring?

Mentoring is as old as civilization. Throughout history, mentoring was the primary means of passing on knowledge and skills in every field—from Greek philosophers to Middle Eastern tutors—and in every culture. Mentoring took place among Greek philosophers (Socrates and Plato), leaders (Alexander the Great and Aristotle) and craftsmen.

Facts about Mentoring:

  • Did you know Albert Einstein had a mentor? Max Talmey.
  • Plato was mentored by Socrates.
  • Gandhi had a mentor called Gokhale.
  • Alexander the Great was mentored by Aristotle.
  • Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, had Paul Allen as his mentor.
  • Oprah Winfrey, named one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th Century by Time magazine had two mentors. Mrs. Duncan and Maya Angelou.
  • Warren Buffett, consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest people, had Benjamin Graham.
  • One half of the Nobel Peace Prize winners on 2008 were mentored by former Peace Prize laureates.
  • A study in 1983 showed that the top Fortune 500 executives in America, each had someone they could call in the middle of the night, if need be, to seek their wisdom and counsel on tough issues.

Unfortunately, our culture nowadays praises the individualistic notion. Our media praises the one-man show of Superman and Ironman. Thus, asking for help is seen as downgrading. You are always receiving the message that “you need to do it on your own.” 

In reality, there is no Superman or Ironman.

Tim Elmore, the founder of Growing Leaders, mentions,
“[Societies] cling to personal independence when they desperately need interdependence.”
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So, what are we supposed to do?

When we are young, we need mentors because we lack experience. When we are older, we need mentors to overcome our pitfalls and avoid reinventing the wheel. You can’t do it on your own. The “self-made” man or woman is a myth.

Interested to learn more about mentoring and what Red Rock Egypt offers in Mentoring Courses in Egypt, CONTACT US today!

Footnotes:

Elmore, Tim; Maxwell, John (2009-03-24). LifeGiving Mentors (Kindle Location 236). Growing Leaders. Kindle Edition.
Elmore, Tim. LifeGiving Mentors. Kindle Location 327.
Elmore, Tim. LifeGiving Mentors. Kindle Location 238.

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