I get the strong sense there’s a growing demand for mentorship - both to give and receive. But why? And how do we define a ‘mentor’, anyway?

On the face of it, mentoring looks a lot like coaching or consulting, but has some distinctive elements that set it apart.

Chip Conley created a wonderfully simple model to surface the two broad types of mentorship:

📚 1) Librarian: When a mentee sees you as a subject matter expert, you are a Librarian. You have ‘know-how’ and ‘know-who’. Usually these mentor relationships are finite - your role is to provide answers (or at least the directions to them).

🤫 2) Confidante: Here, the mentor role is to help a mentee understand themselves more as a human. Instead of you answering the questions, you’re more often asking them. These mentor relationships can last months, years, or even decades.

I’m curious how and why mentoring seems to be growing sharply in popularity - particularly as many arrangements are unpaid, pro bono.

If you’re a mentor to someone (or would like to be) - what’s appealing?

And you’re seeking a mentor: what (and who) are you seeking?

Mentoring: The Librarian & The Confidante

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