Thursday, July 7, 2011
Here’s an exercise: Write the name of the best leader, teacher, or coach you've ever had. Write the name of the individual who made a difference in your life, who seemed to care more about you than you cared about yourself.
According to Professor Tom DeLong at the Harvard Business School, his experience discloses a striking disparity of results, depending on the individual’s age:
You'll find that if you're over 40, you are able to name at least one person, and often two or more. Typically, one of these individuals is a former boss. If you're younger than 40, however, you may come up with one name, but it's rarely someone with whom you've worked; you name an athletic coach or a high school teacher.
This finding does not speak well of the business world, presumably including the world of law practice. However, for those of us who teach the under-40 crowd, it emphasizes the importance of our role as mentors. Here’s the link to the Harvard Business Review online.