CHAPTER 9

You Need Many Mentors, Not Just One

by Dorie Clark

These days everyone knows that finding a mentor is valuable. But it’s increasingly rare that we actually have one. For instance, in an in-depth study of professional service firms, Harvard Business School professor Thomas DeLong and his colleagues discovered that “Everyone we spoke with over age 40 could name a mentor in his or her professional life, but younger people often could not.”1 They continued, “Junior professionals joining a firm 20 years ago could count on the partners treating them like protégés.” Today, job turnover, layoffs, and increased bottom-line pressures have taken a hatchet to that implicit agreement. The answer isn’t to give up on finding a mentor, however—it’s ...

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