Michael: Welcome back to HaBO Village Podcast. This is Michael Redman.
Kathryn: This is Kathryn Redman.
Michael: Today we're going to talk about mentors for leaders, and the value and importance of mentors.
Kathryn: Yes, yes, yes.
Michael: This is a pretty exciting subject for us and something that's really dear to us, to the point where we have mentors, we have collected mentors over the years that had been incredibly powerful to our success, and we have given back and mentored a lot. A lot.
Michael: We believe in mentoring and coaching. As a friend of ours says, coaching is calling out of you and mentoring is putting into you. You may have a slightly different definition, but the idea is of finding people who... If you're looking for a mentor, you're looking for somebody who cares about you and your success and wants to try and figure out how to help you be successful and is willing to volunteer their time in that conversation because they usually believe in you.
Michael: Sometimes it's just a profession. Sometimes it's your personal life. Often it's a holistic approach. At least, that's the way Kathryn and I take it as much as possible. We wanted to talk to you today because we want to encourage you, if you don't have a mentor, to go find a mentor, and that happens by asking. And if you have enjoyed mentorship, we want to encourage you to give mentorship back.
Kathryn: Yeah, so now you know the goal of the podcast.
Michael: Yeah, I think it's super important.
Kathryn: Straight up front.
Michael: We're going to talk about the values of mentorship by telling you a few stories and just how impactful that has been and how it's shaped and moved our life.
Kathryn: One of the illusions, as we talk to business leaders, is that they don't need help, they don't need mentors. We just think that that's absolutely untrue. The fact of the matter is leadership can be a very lonely place to be. If you're in leadership, it's super important that you find people who you can share and talk with, and get input into your processes and your thinking and the struggles so that you know that you're not alone.
Michael: This is huge. I'm sure there's lots of different styles, but as we've been studying leadership and mentoring for probably... I can go back to my mid-teen years because I was so influenced by leaders and mentors in my own life that just came along and were really supportive at multiple significant phases of my life that I needed somebody else to pour into my life to help me move to the next phase and be successful.
Michael: We've come up with four different types of mentors. There may be more, you may name them differently, but here's how we talk about them.
Michael: There's the personal mentor, the person who is in an authoritative figure over you, a authoritative position over you. Almost always this person is older. They're a little bit more of a sage, leadership position maybe over you, definitely that kind of older brother to younger brother, or big sister, little sister, but more often than that, father, uncle, mother, aunt type of relationship.
Michael: The second one is a mentor of friends. You'll have, as you get older, the 5 years', 10 years', 15 years' age difference seems to blend and go away a lot more. You have friends that are 10, 15 years younger and you have friends that are 10 or 15 years older, and sometimes it's even more. What you find is that those friendships at times on certain subjects switch into a mentor-mentee relationship-
Michael: ... where you're asking for advice from somebody who you are friends with, but they shift and all of a sudden you're like, "You know what, you know so much more. I want to learn from you in this place and I need help in this place." That's kind of that friend mentor.
Kathryn: Yeah. I'll just throw this in. There are people in your life that may transition from one role to another.
Kathryn: I had a personal mentor, and, I'll just own it, it was a counselor when I first moved back to Chico to just walk through some of the things that Michael and I-
Michael: 20 years ago.
Kathryn: ... had been through 20 years ago. Eventually, over the course of time, I would say a couple years into our relationship, she became a friend mentor. We still have coffee, but she's not-
Michael: The counseling season ended.
Kathryn: Counseling season ended, but the friend mentoring didn't. We have kind of a mutual friend mentoring relationship, and it's a beautiful thing.
Michael: Yeah, it really is.
Michael: The third one is mentors that you sort of know, but there's some distance. You're acquaintances. You have a relationship.
Kathryn: They know you if they see you in the street.
Michael: Right. If they're extreme introverts, they may not say, "Hi," because one of our mentors in this category is like that, even though he's asked us to be business partners with him. They pour into your life and they're incredibly instructive, and they're our mentors beyond an educational level. They're not just a teacher; these people are people you've learned from and you respect and everything else.
Michael: Then the fourth category is a person we don't know at all. Those are authors and speakers that you've never met before, but they've become very influential in your life. An example of that is C.S. Lewis for us. That's one example.
Michael: Tolkien. A lot of other folk... Notice they're both British.
Kathryn: Because that's the best ones.
Michael: There's a few Americans that we like too.
Kathryn: G.K. Chesterton wasn't so bad.
Michael: Some of them are alive; some of them aren't.
Kathryn: Or was he British? I can't remember now.
Michael: Chesterton was British.
Kathryn: Shoot. Never mind then. Bad example.
Michael: She defaults to somebody.
Michael: But you have probably been influenced by somebody who has no idea who you are, and what they become is they become a mentor. You start absorbing their writings. You start observing their thoughts. The wisdom they have serves you and feeds you and shapes you and molds you. That's partly what a mentor does is help shape and mold and bring wise counsel.
Michael: For us, one of the people I was thinking about, Kathryn, as a personal mentor that would be a great story is Bob Sprague.
Kathryn: Absolutely. Well, and the fun part about Bob is we get to share him. In fact, that's probably true with several of these mentors.
Kathryn: He was mine before yours. I'll say that.
Michael: Yes, he was. Absolutely.
Kathryn: Bob was our college pastor, and he walked a lot of our journey with us. Bob was one of those people who-
Michael: There was that phase for us, but we were between 18 and 22.
Kathryn: Yeah, exactly. He was an incredible leadership development guy. He built into people and he called you out, and he called you on the carpet. I will never forget one time with him. I was teaching, and he was in the room, and I used an illustration. Afterwards, he said to me, "Kathryn..." Actually, he called me Kathy back then. But what he said to me was "That illustration, is that really what happened? Because it didn't quite sound authentic. It sounded like something you wanted to have happened, but not something that was actually true." And he nailed it. I was just flattened like, "Okay," because I have grown and grown and grown, but one of my core values is authenticity.
Michael: And integrity.
Kathryn: And integrity. He called me out, and I remember that often, that moment of just going "Oh, that wasn't completely authentic." He was a great personal mentor.
Michael: For those of you that are public speakers like Kathryn and I both, you know that sometimes you can open your mouth on stage and you say stuff, and you go, "Why did I say that? That's not even true."
Kathryn: That's not even the way it went down.
Michael: I wasn't intending to lie, but all of a sudden you're like... You have a choice right there. Do you own it really quick and go, "Oh, wait a minute, I made a mistake. That's not right," and correct it, or do you let it sit out there? That was the issue that he was bringing to you as a 21-year-old, 22-year-old young woman. I mean, we still talk about it today, and we're a bit older.
Kathryn: Yeah, just a couple days.
Michael: Okay. Bob was really significant when Kathryn and I left vocational ministry. We were pastors and things were changing, and he was the one that really encouraged me to go back to college. It was a radical shift in our life because it did two things. One, it caused me to go back and start a whole new path educationally for instructional design, and basically business consulting and systems development, which was amazing. And I didn't even know I was going into that.
Michael: But the other thing is we came back to Chico, California, which was where I had grown up in, and Kathryn and I both spent our teen years and college years, and our family were here, much of our family was here. So we raised our daughter. You've heard our story before, but that was the late '90s, and we've now been back 20 years and we have a 15-year-old thriving company that does work nationally, and we have done worked internationally. We did all that from here, but we had it partly because of the relational support we had.
Kathryn: The encouragement.
Michael: Bob was really supportive in there. Then over time what happened is we came back and we started being involved in our church ministry and working with college students with Bob in the midst of some really hard, painful times in our life as I went back to college and we changed our entire lifestyle, not knowing we were going to go into business.
Michael: We started doing a lot of work in our church and a lot of work in the community, and all of a sudden Bob was switching from being a mentor to being a friend. He was a coworker, and we were laboring together. What he did is he switched into that mentor friend, where sometimes he was teaching us, but sometimes we were teaching him. That was an incredibly fun season. It doesn't always happen.
Michael: But another person that that moves into that mentor friend is... I thought of two people when I was thinking about this. One is our friend Chris Thrasher Wheatley. Chris and Liz are amazing people. They work with-
Kathryn: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
Michael: Yeah. Chris oversees the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapters at college campuses in a good chunk of northern California.
Kathryn: Northern California, southern Oregon.
Michael: Yeah. He's responsible for a lot of leaders, and overseeing a lot of leaders over a very large geographical area. Northern California is larger than probably 25% of the states in the country.
Michael: He came to me, and we were developing friendship with he and his wife. He came to me one day and he wanted to learn some stuff, and he started asking me if I could help him out with some things. Then all of a sudden what I realized is he was calling me... I was mentoring him in this area.
Michael: Two things happened. One, I realized that my role had shifted with him in this area and, two it was incredibly honoring, because I heard through his words how he saw me and I also understood the responsibility and the impact I had to Chris. We kind of moved back and forth inside of that friendship mentoring thing, because I don't just consider myself the mentor and him the mentee.
Kathryn: Right. You're not mentoring him in everything. It's just certain areas there's more age and a little more wisdom, and there's just an opportunity to speak in.
Michael: I'm much older, and he's not. A great guy, and they have three kids, three great boys, and that interesting relationship.
Michael: Now on the other side of that, we have Terry Walling.
Kathryn: Terry is 15 years older probably.
Michael: Yeah, age 62 now.
Kathryn: Yeah. Okay, so 15 for you-
Kathryn: ... not so much for me. Terry has just like... He has been an incredible mentor friend. He has Leader Breakthru-
Michael: His company.
Kathryn: ... is his company, spelled with a U at the end, leaderbreakthru.com. Does leadership training across the country. Just incredible guy to dialog with about the things that we're all passionate about, which is developing leaders and making sure people continue to grow and move through the stages of life and finish well. Terry has just been amazing.
Kathryn: He and his wife have become very dear friends. We have a small group we talk about, where it's like the four of us that get together for dinner in that small group, so that's pretty good.
Michael: Over the last five, six years, we all travel a lot. Terry used to travel even more than we did. We try at least once a month to have dinner and hang out and laugh. We've gone away together. We've had holidays together. But they're a few years ahead of us in a few things in life, and one of the places was Terry and his leadership models.
Michael: Bob, as we were talking about before, was feeding into us in leadership in the early stages. I had another gentleman by the name of Bob [Delray 00:13:10] who was feeding into me at even a younger age and showing and teaching us amazing leadership things. But as we got older, the understanding that Terry really brought was how to find more clarity in what is your task in life, what is your contribution in life, and how do you understand where you fit as a leader?
Michael: A lot of that work doesn't even come to us leaders until we're in our 40s and 50s, and so was able to really walk us through that and talk to us and mentor us in those places, and still does to this day, while at the same time we all turn around and we open up a bottle of wine and we laugh and do stuff together and hang out.
Michael: We've laughed and cried together. We've walked through some hard things. When Terry almost passed away from a near heart attack and a major heart defect, we were all nervous and scared together. We did life together. We do life together.
Michael: So there is a couple of versions of that friend mentor that you might have in your life, or you might start thinking, who in your life could you be that for, and who in your life maybe could be that for you? It doesn't have to be somebody... Finding a mentor doesn't have to be somebody who's older. It just so happens that age is significant in those two places.
Kathryn: We have others, too, that probably fit that bucket. We could talk about the [Ketsonas 00:14:30]. There's several people that we have, but I think one of the main things in it is that when you align yourself and you spend time with people who are wise and walk with you and share your values, there's always going to be a bit of back and forth on the friend mentor piece, and it's very life-giving.
Michael: Well, and it's really important to say as a leader, it can get very lonely.
Kathryn: Yeah, I said that at the beginning.
Michael: Yeah. As a leader in the organization, that just happens for all of us. You can become super isolated. You can know lots of people and network and still feel isolated. You have to be a little... You have to choose to be vulnerable in a wise sense. Be smart who you're being vulnerable with. But we don't get to clarity alone and-
Kathryn: Says Terry.
Michael: Says Terry. Do we always have to quote him?
Kathryn: Well, I don't know. Maybe.
Michael: Is that important?
Kathryn: Maybe. I don't know.
Michael: The joke around here is we quote people and then all of a sudden we say, are we-
Kathryn: Do we have to quote them?
Michael: Are we ripping them off because we didn't quote them?
Michael: Terry said that. I don't know where he got it from, because he never quotes anybody.
Michael: Back to the point, you don't get to clarity alone. It's a super real truth. That's the whole idea of mentoring is one of those ways that you can get more clarity in your life, more clarity about your vision, clarity about your purpose, clarity about your significant contribution at work, in your personal life, wherever, and then go from there.
Michael: When you move to the next level of mentors that are acquaintances, you don't have a close, intimate personal relationship, but you know them, Roy Williams is one of those for us. Very significant.
Kathryn: Well, and many times, not always, but many times in this realm you're talking about other business leaders who you deeply respect and want to learn from. And it turns out, I mean, we are not competition to Roy, but we're in the same industry. He owns a huge marketing agency.
Michael: He is a rock star.
Kathryn: He's a rock star.
Michael: Huge clients.
Kathryn: Yeah, huge budgets. I drool thinking about the money he gets to spend with his clients and for his clients. I think he's the fourth-largest ad agency in the country or something. It's crazy.
Michael: Fourth-largest spend or something like that, yeah.
Michael: Roy has had profound influence on our lives, in the way that we think, in the way that we talk about marketing, in understanding even some of the stuff that we've talked about in other podcasts where we're talking about types of customers. He does an amazing job of really delineating between a transactional sale and a relational sale. He talks about copy and ad writing. We have spent many, many hours under Roy's tutelage in Austin, Texas, and are better at what we do as a result of having sat at the feet of the master, the Wizard of Ads.
Michael: The Wizard of Ads.
Michael: One of the things that's really significant about all these people, even Roy, is we're looking for people who are really knowledgeable in their area, people who have been successful at multiple areas of their life, not just financially.
Michael: The more we got to know Roy, the more we realized that he shared our values. I mean, Roy is not that much older than us, maybe 10 years. He and Penny got married when they were like 18, 19 years old, and they're still married, and delightfully married. They have two great boys that have created great grandchildren for them.
Kathryn: Happy campers.
Michael: Roy is a delighted grandfather. Roy is a private, introverted person, but he saw that he had a contribution to make and he started the nonprofit academy. Then there are those of us that... He has over 25,000 people who read his weekly email blog posts, and those are double opt-in. That means he didn't just scam somebody to get on the list or mail it to people who don't care; you have to go out of your way and sign up for his list and then verify that you actually signed up to get on that list. Then if you don't open your emails for like 12 months, they take you off the list, and you have to get back on the list.
Michael: Roy is one of those people that... But he's an introvert. He's an extreme introvert. He comes into these small classrooms where there's somewhere between 10 and 30 of us, depending on the seminar, and they're usually one to three-day seminars that we do in Austin, at this really cool place that's just an amazing environment to be in physically, for architecture and everything else, because it's inspiring.
Michael: And we sit and we talk and we listen and we hang out with people who are one, two, three, four-time best-selling authors in the business arena. We hang out with people who are incredibly successful. We're all kind of coming in and hanging out. We're like, "We're going to learn from each other, but we're really going to learn from Roy and whoever else is there that Roy has said, 'I really respect these people in this area and they're going to teach a course.'"
Kathryn: To have the humility to know that you don't know everything and that there are incredibly smart people that are willing to share knowledge. To be in a room with some of those incredibly smart people is really powerful. That's that sort of the mentor.
Kathryn: If we ran into Roy in an airport, he would know us. It's not that he wouldn't. He still might duck a little because he's super introverted. But he knows us, and we consider him a friend, but the reality is we're not having dinner and hanging out at his house.
Michael: No. We don't want to portray this as anything else.
Kathryn: It's not that, but-
Michael: What I want to do is... I think the point here is that we're setting you free to really say this category of people, they can be mentors in your life, and it's all on you. You have to avail yourself of that time. And that's really what happens when you're being mentored is you have to pursue the mentor. You have to pursue and be willing.
Michael: When you're young, yes, somebody has to pursue you often, and that's the kindness of working with youth, maybe college students. But the reality is as we become adults, you've got to pursue people and say, "I want to be mentored."
Kathryn: And you have to be willing to invest. I mean, it costs a lot of money to be mentored by some of these people because you have to go be where they are and go to classes and learn. It requires a lot of investment, and so it's a commitment. But the return on that investment in terms of shaping and molding your thinking, helping you strategize, helping you understand what the next steps might be, incredibly powerful.
Michael: Well, I would say that the value of going to the academy for us with Roy is at least 10x, if not 20 or 30 or 40x, of what we have invested. What we've invested as pittance because, for instance... I'll say this, because it's on our website. You can go to a two-day seminar for two grand, and if you're taking your spouse to the academy, your spouse gets to go free. It really is helpful that our business partners are our spouses.
Kathryn: Yeah, that works out really well for us.
Michael: But understand this. Roy, when he's consulting, if he comes to you, he's 20 grand a day. If you go to him for all the consulting-
Kathryn: For your company.
Michael: Seven and a half grand a day to go to him. But he wants to do this thing, and he makes it available. Nobody who teaches at the academy gets a stipend.
Kathryn: No, there's no money.
Michael: You get food and you get wine and you get whiskey and you get a place to sleep in a really cool little bed and breakfast house-type place. And other than that, there is a giving, but there is a small cost to get into that giving. Anybody could go.
Michael: We don't usually talk about cost, but there is an investment you have to make to be mentored, and you want people to be willing to invest in you, invest in the time, and take your time seriously if you're going to mentor them. But sometimes you have to understand where they are and be a little forgiving, because that's just the way it is. If you're the mentor, you're more experienced and more mature in that area, hopefully, and that's the way that works.
Michael: We've mentioned authors, and there's so many authors. Our bookshelves are full of people, but they impact and shape our lives. We have quotes upon quotes from authors and books, and as you listen to these podcasts, you're always hearing us quote authors because we value learning and growing. To avail yourself of mentoring or to be a mentor means that you want to invest in your own growth, and you're asking other people to invest in you and to help you out.
Michael: We have found when there is an authenticity and a sincerity of your desire to grow, and willing to put the energy and effort in, that we as human beings are willing to give of our time freely if somebody values it because we feel good about the fact that... I feel good about the fact that I could help you out and help you step to the next level, so that not only you can achieve what we believe is more passion and provision in your life, but you could also... That gives you more opportunity to give away.
Michael: You're getting. Make sure you give. I believe that the more passion and provision you have in your life, the more overflow you have, and the more opportunity you're going to have, more resources you're going to have, more time you're going to have, to make a larger impact in the people around you that need help stepping up. Turn around and help somebody step up to where you are or maybe even step beyond where you are.
Kathryn: That's good. Depending on what you do and what your interests are, there are just incredible authors and speakers. I've had countless that have, in seasons, really shaped my thinking, really caused me to recognize lies that I believed about myself or about the way the world works. Just tons and tons of resources out there. But choose wisely. I mean, there's a-
Michael: Choose. Be intentional.
Kathryn: Be intentional, but-
Kathryn: ... choose wisely.
Michael: Choose wisely.
Kathryn: Because there's that sense... I don't think it's a proverb, but I think it's an old Indian saying that says, "Tell me who you walk with, and I'll tell you who you are." I love that. I love that saying. Tell me who you walk with, and I'll tell you who you are. Who you associate with, who you allow to have influence and input into your life, is incredibly significant. You don't want to hang out with fools. You just don't. It's bad for you.
Michael: It's not good. And you know what, that's the other thing, finding people who are are successful in the area that you want to be successful in, or successful in life, successful in parenting, successful in marriage, successful in managing people at work, successful in building companies, successful in information resources. Those people have demonstrated, especially if they've demonstrated a competence in that area and they're successful in their competence, but they've also demonstrated character and values that align with yours.
Michael: If you can find somebody who has competence and character with values that align with yours, you are way better off and way safer in making sure that you're picking great mentors that are going to help you be successful. Then, again, looking for people who could use your help and being willing to give it when asked, especially if it's appropriate.
Michael: That's bringing us to the end of today. I just want to... We're going to try and talk more about and just make sure that everybody's aware that Half a Bubble Out, our marketing, advertising, and business consulting company, we do some of this stuff; we are not open to mentoring everybody, so just so you know. We do that through a very select way of building relationships and personal relationships.
Michael: What we do is we do leadership development, and we can help coach and train and teach you and your leadership in a way that either can educate you or be a voice that's just encouraging. We find that even though we know these things, we need to be surrounded with voices and different perspectives on the subject so we can be motivated and encouraged in places where we might be dry and lacking motivation, and at the same time reinforcement. We always need to be surrounded by the voices that reinforce our core ideas and values that are important to us, and reinforce ideas and values of successful behaviors so that you can grow from where you are to the next level up.
Michael: If that's something that you would like as a leader, or working with your leadership in your company or yourself, that kind of coaching and mentoring, call halfabubbleout.com, or go to halfabubbleout.com.
Kathryn: Call it up on your website.
Michael: Yeah, call it up on your website.
Kathryn: On your screen.
Michael: Well, if you got Siri, you could do that.
Kathryn: There you go. There you go.
Michael: But go to halfabubbleout.com and fill out a Contact Us form. We'd be glad to talk to you, call you up and talk to you, and see how we can help you and if we're a good fit for you. And if you want to just talk on the phone, there's the phone number on the website too. Give us a call. We would love to hear from you.
Michael: Just to recap, today we're talking about mentors, and how powerful mentors are, and the four different types of mentors that we've discovered. I'm sure there's more.
Michael: Personal mentors, those people that are in authority over us at some level, age, position, whatever. They're more traditional mentors, and they know us personally and they're speaking to us personally and pouring into our lives.
Michael: Mentors that are friends. Those are folks that are dear friends that you respect in certain areas. At times the friendship flips into mentoring, and at times a mentoring relationship flips into friendship. Sometimes in those relationships, the mentoring goes back and forth, and you have to realize what hat you're wearing. But those are really rewarding relationships.
Michael: The next is mentors we sort of know, or mentors and acquaintances that might be-
Kathryn: Like business leaders, people that you're learning from.
Michael: Speakers, things like that.
Kathryn: Speakers. Typically, these are people that you would know by face. They're not your best friend, but they're people who-
Michael: They would know you.
Kathryn: You sit, and they know you.
Michael: You have an acquaintance with them.
Kathryn: Yeah, an acquaintanceship.
Kathryn: Then the final is the people you really don't have... You've never met them, they wouldn't know you from Adam in an airport, but the-
Michael: Authors, speakers.
Kathryn: ... reality is they're authors, they're speakers, they're people that are pouring into your life and shaping your thinking.
Kathryn: We just really want to encourage you as a leader. You need people who are speaking into your life. You need people who you can bounce ideas off. You need people who can help you think.
Michael: Do you think you can get to a passion and provision state without mentors?
Kathryn: I'm fairly certain you cannot.
Michael: I agree 100%.
Kathryn: One of the realities is most of us are not smart enough to ask ourselves the right questions, so we really need-
Michael: We don't know what we don't know, folks.
Kathryn: We don't. We need people outside of our heads and outside of even our situation and our specifics to pull us back up out of the weeds, remind us who we are, remind us why we're doing it, and help us think about what the next steps would be.
Michael: Thank you very much for visiting us today and sharing this time with us. We really appreciate it, and we value you. We hope this has been valuable for you in return.
Michael: The one thing we would ask is... Actually, two things. Go out to iTunes and hit subscribe and add us to your list of regulars. That would be great. It allows us to be seen by more people out there. Two, we would love to hear comments. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask any questions or comments about the podcast. We'd love to know the single biggest reason it's helpful or this episode has been helped today.
Kathryn: Yeah, and if there's something else that you really want to hear about and you'd love for us to-
Michael: Tell us.
Kathryn: We'd love. We're looking for ideas and just ways to be helpful.
Michael: Let us know, and elaborate a little bit. Go to the show notes page on our podcast blog and leave a comment. That'd be awesome too.
Michael: For myself and-
Michael: ... and Kathryn, it's the Redmans here-
Kathryn: That's me.
Michael: ... at Half a Bubble Out and HaBO Village Podcast. Thank you very much. Have a great week.