Wednesday, May 05, 2010


One of life's pleasant surprises is how we continue to keep learning as we age. I am sure my kids think that I know everything and have all the answers.

Each year, I realize how little I do in fact know and how much there is to learn.  We grow via experiences or people who stretch us and help us better understand ourselves, the world at large, and what really matters.

As an executive, I am constantly looking to learn and to expand my understanding of best practices, problem solving, leadership styles, etc. 

Earlier in my career, I could look within my employer's organization to find mentor, role models, and people who could help me improve, stretch, learn.

Now as a start- up CEO, it is harder to rely on internal resources to keep the learning curve steep.

Recently, I asked a long-time CEO and very successful software entrepreneur to serve as a mentor to me.  We meet once every 6-8 weeks and spend time talking about the market, life, in addition to focused conversations around areas of personal growth or challenge.  It is well-known that the world's top athletes use coaches to improve, stretch, and develop.  It is not as common, however, for business people to invest the time and energy in improving through outside mentoring and coaching.

I am very glad that my mentor agreed to spend time with me - it is a gift I plan to repay in years to come both to my mentor and to those who are like me now - self-aware enough to ask for help and hungry enough to use it to improve their game.