World’s Greatest Mentoring Relationships

Posted by 9 April, 2009


This is the fifth part of a five part series on mentoring.

1. Want to Be Successful? – Get a Mentor
2. 10 Things to Look for in a Mentor
3. 10 Things to Look for in a Protege
4. 5 Steps You Need to Take in Preparation of Being a Mentor/Protege
5. World’s Greatest Mentoring Relationships

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton

If you look at any highly successful person, you will almost always find a mentor. It’s really hard to imagine that some people have mentors. We, as a society, tend to put people on a pedestal. In fact, it almost seems as if some famous people were just born awesome when in fact it took many set backs and failures before they achieved greatness.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

It also seems that the older or longer ago a person lived, the more difficult it is to imagine that historical figures are people too. They are just like you and I and they too needed a mentor.

Strongest Symbol for Non-Violence in the 20th Century

There aren’t too many people that have had a more profound effect on the world than Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi, like you and I had a mentor, Dadabhai Naoroji. Dadabhai helped start the Indian Independence Movement in 1857 and Gandhi was able to complete the task on August 15th 1947 which handed the country of India back to it’s people. This movement was the first and largest non violent resistance the world had ever seen and involved 50 million people within India. This all came from a person who had limited success starting a law practice in Mumbai and was also turned down for a part-time teaching position. While not being a direct mentor, Gandhi has been noted as an inspiration for Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela among others.

Richest Person in the World

It’s difficult to imagine that one of the most successful investors the world has seen was mentored at one time. In fact, Warren Buffett was mentored by Ben Graham while at Columbia University. Buffett celebrates Graham’s book, The Intelligent Investor, as the greatest book on investing ever written. It’s interesting to note that Ben Graham once owned a small insurance company you may have heard of before, GEICO. Apparently Ben Graham taught his student well as Warren Buffett now owns GEICO.

Most Admired Person for the 20th Century

Mother Teresa committed her life to God through good works and truly helping others. Instead of living a comfortable life in a convent, she decided to live among the poorest of the poor and help them even though she had no income to speak of. Mother Teresa received permission from the Vatican to start Missionaries of Charity. It started with 13 members to help the hungry and homeless – those shunned by society. Today, there are more than 4,000 nuns operating orphanages, AIDS hospices, and various charities worldwide. She led a remarkable and revered life, but she may not have achieved all that she did if it weren’t for her mentor, Father Michael van der Peet.

Greatest Basketball Player

Michael Jordan is arguably the best basketball player to ever play the game. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant might think otherwise, but they are referred to as “the Next Jordan”, not the other way around. Michael Jordan was a great player, having earned Rookie of the Year, but it wasn’t until he was joined with his coach and mentor, Phil Jackson, that he flourished. Under Phil Jackson’s first year as coach of the Chicago Bulls, and the help of young players Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant, Michael Jordan and the Bulls were able to win their first NBA title. Michael Jordan amassed 6 NBA titles and became the most decorated NBA player ever under Phil Jackson.

What do you want to achieve? It’s probably not as difficult as you think.

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

You’re only limited by what you think is possible. Figure out what you want and then find someone who’s done it. Get a mentor, ask for their counsel, become comfortable with what they’ve done, and then make it your own.

Photo by Vincent

Other Posts
Carnival of Personal Finance #199
Rich Life Carnival #19 – Money Blueprint Edition
5 Steps You Need to Take in Preparation of Being a Mentor/Protege
10 Things to Look for in a Protege
10 Things to Look for in a Mentor


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Categories : Personal Development Tags : , ,

April 9, 2009

Great post Dustin. Good finish to a good series you did.

Posted by Shawn Christenson
April 9, 2009

What an interesting topic! Mentoring can be so influential and important in our lives, but I’ve never really given it much thought before. As much as it is up to us to create our own happiness in life, it never hurts to have a little help and guidance and mentors are great for that!

Positively Present’s last blog post..a great recipe for life

Posted by Positively Present
April 9, 2009

Would calling myself a successful count for being arrogant? I do not care – “I am successful!”, at least according to the definition by John Wooden. I have peace of mind and that is a huge success for me. I was able to succeed only because I was lucky to meet a great mentor.
You are right! Having good mentor is a great recipe for success 😉
Good stuff, Dustin!

Alik Levin |’s last blog post..Want To Win? – Argue, Do Not Fight!

April 10, 2009


I like this mentoring series. It’s true that successful persons have mentors. I’ll think seriously about having a real mentor – so far I have successful friends but I haven’t formally asked to be a mentor.

Did you change your site design? It looks great, and different.

Daphne @ Joyful Days’s last blog post..Who Is Your Ideal Reader?

April 12, 2009

I have only read this one post of yours and thought it very enlightening. There is a reason that successful and worldly people seem to have mentors in their lives. I think it shows that some of these great people knew at some point in their lives that we all need someone to help us or to give guidance in what our future holds for us. I am anxious to come back and read the first parts of yours series, great job btw. Thanks JJ

jj-momscashblog’s last blog post..Learn New Wall Street Terms

Posted by jj-momscashblog
April 15, 2009

Great series Dustin! I don’t have a mentor but your articles have inspired me to find one. Thanks!

Stephen – Rat Race Trap’s last blog post..Top 10 Ways To Grow Your Brain

April 17, 2009

I’ve been working hard on cultivating mentors that will help me become happier and more successful. I also hope to help them. I believe the mentor takes on a student because they are willing to listen, but also to be helped by the student.

It’s best when learning is a two way street.

Karl Staib – Work Happy Now’s last blog post..Stressed Out and Loving It

April 29, 2009

I have enjoyed this great series. And today’s post was awesome. We often think of these people as mentors — or people we can emulate — but they had their own sources of inspiration.

Miranda’s last blog post..P2P Lending Could Come to Banks

Posted by Miranda
April 29, 2009

Amazing, thanks for sharing. Stumbled and reviewed. 🙂

Miguel Wickert’s last blog post..Why No-One Should Spend $1000 but less than $100

Posted by Miguel Wickert
April 30, 2009


Keep it up, I shared your post on Twitter. Hope it bring some traffic your way. 🙂 Cheers!


September 1, 2009

I have my mentor who showed me the aim of my life.What we do generally is that we don’t know what we want and that’s where a mentor helps…makes us know what we want.

Posted by Acai Force
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