The Power of a Mentor

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I’ve met people who seem to be waiting for something.  They aren’t getting started on their dreams because they think someone is going to show up and change everything.  For most, that never happens.  For Andy Andrews, it did.  One person showed up and changed the direction of his life.

Let me explain.  Today the world knows the name Andy Andrews as a best-selling author.  Others know him as that hilarious speaker who showed up at a convention, had you in hysterics, and before you even realized it…he had changed your thinking.

But, long before Andy’s success, he was broke, homeless, and sleeping under a pier on the Gulf coast.

And then, a man by the name of Jones showed up, and his life literally changed.

 

A good mentor knows how to share the truth with love. -Andy Andrews

 

Andy, you first told the world about your story and about this incredible teacher in your book, The Noticer.  You have just released a new book, The Noticer Returns.

There are so many avenues we could explore, but I want to focus on something key to your success and this new book.  And that is a “mentoring” relationship.  When Jones appeared in your life, you were ready and willing to listen.  Somehow he got through to you. 

Why was Jones able to reach into your world and change it?

It’s funny that you say I was “ready and willing to listen,” because in many ways I actually wasn’t! Jones was the only person who was willing to tell me the truth about myself and, at first, I didn’t like what he was saying one bit. Fortunately, he had a way of bringing people around to the right perspective, which he eventually did for me.

When do you know you are ready for a mentor?

The number one key thing you need to have in order to be ready for a mentor is a spirit of openness. You have to be open to the possibility that you don’t know anything or that some of what you DO know might be incorrect. You have to accept that there may be things wrong with your thinking.

Make Your Days Count

Mastering Your Life Right Now (and a book giveaway)

For over thirty years (10,950 days), Robert D Smith has worked behind the scenes as Andy Andrews’ manager and as a consultant to numerous best-selling authors and speakers.  Most know him as THE Robert D, and his infectious energy and enthusiasm for life radiates into a room even before he steps into it.

SIGNED BOOK GIVEAWAY

We gave away some free AUTOGRAPHED copies of 20,000 Days and Counting.

Winners have been selected and notified.

To qualify for the random drawing:

  1. Leave a comment below. Why would this book be helpful to you?
  2. Send out this post. You can use Twitter, Facebook or Google+. You could also use a pigeon, but you’d likely miss the contest end date.

 

When I read THE Robert D’s book, I realized it was the perfect way to start a new year.  It’s packed with practical steps to make the most of your days.  It’s a fast read, but one that will linger with you as you contemplate your life.

Let’s start with the title.  20,000 Days and Counting.  That grabbed my attention as I wondered about the significance of 20,000 days.  Turns out that you realized in 2009 that you had been alive for almost 20,000 days.  That realization had a big impact on you, didn’t it?

I would say the impact was huge. When you see your number, it really gives you a sense of urgency and intensity.

2.  I love to invent reasons to celebrate.  My wife and I celebrate more dates than anyone, and I even invent anniversaries and holidays just so we can celebrate something.  So, I was thrilled to see you talking about celebrating in this book.  Why is celebrating so important?  How do you make it a part of your daily life?

20000daysCelebrating is critical because it’s the only way to withstand living a life of intensity and purpose. If you’re living each and every day with meaning and intentional action to fulfill your purpose, you’re going to be drained from time to time. Allowing yourself time to celebrate the little accomplishments along the way will keep you focused and help you avoid burnout.

3.  From what I read, you seem to love the word “no.”  Why is “no” such a power word?

Leadership Lessons from Over 50 Thought Leaders

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People + Books = 1 Changed Life

 

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones was one of my great influencers.  He repeatedly said that, “You will be the same person you are today in five years but for two things:  the people you meet and the books you read.” Every year, I am privileged to have the opportunity to read so many incredible books and meet fascinating people from all walks of life.

Last year, I launched this blog with the idea of sharing insights, ideas, and inspiration from many sources. On the one hand, I’m disappointed that I was only able to share a fraction of all of the people who influenced me. On the other, I’m glad that I started doing it because now, as I look back on it, I’m the one who benefited the most. Charlie was right. All of the books I read and all of the people I met did indeed change me.

Here are a few of the people who shared their experience and wisdom. If I can learn a fraction of what they know, I will be better equipped to lead in the coming year.

Before you start the new year, take the time to meet some of these people and take their leadership lessons with you. Instead of “interview in progress” you will find a “great life in progress.”

Leadership, News & Politics

 

Dan Rather (his life in the news)

Condoleezza Rice (former Secretary of State)

Barbara Simons (on the dangers of new ballot machines)

Senator Bill Bradley (on how we can all do better)

 

Business Leadership, Strategy & Execution

 

John Baldoni (purpose, leadership)

Jill Geisler (Make Work Happy)

Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos on culture)

Cynthia Montgomery (strategist)

Jim Huling (on the 4 disciplines of execution)

Geoffrey Moore (how to cross the chasm and rethink the future)

Faisal Hoque (BTM CEO on the power of convergence)

Chris Grivas (which creative style are you?)

Shep Hyken (7 strategies of amazing customer service)

Andy Andrews on Why Truth Matters

One of my favorite authors is Andy Andrews, who always writes things from a very different perspective as anyone else.  I have all of his books, and am always interested in his point of view.

One of his latest books is called How Do You Kill 11 Million People?  I have to admit that I would have passed by the book if it weren’t for the author.

The new book is the story of the holocaust, but unlike anything you’ve ever read.  It’s also a very small book, which you can read in about fifteen or so minutes.  But you will find that you are thinking about it for days afterward.  It’s a book that just makes you give it to someone else and say, “Read this.  I want to talk about it with you.”

The story is basically a question about how millions of people were killed by Hitler and the Nazis.  Most of the time, they boarded trains with little resistance.  Trains heading to concentration camps.  I’ve heard directly from Holocaust survivors the horrors involved.  Most of us have read books and seen movies depicting the events.

But I don’t know of anyone else who ever asked “Why?  Why did they board the trains without fighting back?”