FOCUS Brands Group President, former Cinnabon President, and LinkedIn Influencer Kat Cole speaks with LinkedIn editor Lorraine Lee at CGI U's 9th annual meeting at UC Berkeley.
(upbeat music) - What's so interesting about mentoring is, especially to young people, millennials, of which I'm sort of an older one, it can seem very elusive. It sort of feels like this very formal, very heavy thing, almost like a job where you have to apply for it and qualify and match, and in some cases for a long-term mentorship that is necessary and appropriate, but I believe that there are things to be learned from people all round you almost every day and almost every situation.
So, it's actually more productive to look at mentoring as a series of mentoring moments that you can have anywhere at any time with anyone who's willing to share their perspective. Millennials want to gain perspective, they want to benefit from the resources around them, but a formal mentoring relationship can seem a little daunting. At the same time, busy professionals can feel that a formal mentoring relationship can seem like a huge commitment and they're not sure if they can deliver on that commitment. So, if we reframe mentoring as mentoring moments it's more accessible, we're democratizing that access, and breaks it up into little pieces, and then if you have some benefit from a mentoring moment and it turns into something more meaningful, awesome.
But if it doesn't, you've at least delivered a shared perspective that can accelerate growth or perspective, and certainly help a young person accelerate their impact. I give the same advice to potential mentors as I would to potential proteges and mentees. Share your story, even if it's just over coffee, you will be absolutely shocked at who that can inspire, what movements that can really liberate, and what relationships you might build that turn into something really powerful down the road.
If a mentee is searching for a mentor, my first advice is almost everyone around you can provide you perspective and can be a mentor, so look for mentoring moments. Ask someone in the hallway that you think might have relevant experience, hey I'm dealing with this, have you ever dealt with it. If you have, can you give me some advice, or do you know someone who has that I might be able to reach out to? Just that question, super quick, gives you immediate access to someone who can give you a mentoring moment and maybe turn into a mentor. If you're a mentor and looking for people to impact, really you just gather people around you and share stories.
And one of my favorite questions to put out to a group to see who sort of connects with you is to say, what's your biggest challenge? Or to ask, what are you most proud of, or what would you like to achieve in the next six months to one year? And that gives you a sense of who you might relate to as a mentor.