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Managers as Mentors, 3rd Edition by Marshall Goldsmith, Chip R. Bell

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11Socrates’ Great Secret

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Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.

Voltaire

If there were a Mentors’ Hall of Fame, Socrates would be an instant inductee. In a heated argument over whether slaves have souls (the ancient Greeks believed that only smart people would have eternal life), Socrates bet a case of mead (no doubt Greek for Bud Light) that he could teach a common slave the Pythagorean theorem (for those who used it in high school and then filed it away: the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides). He had no PowerPoint slides, handouts, or textbook. He needed only two tools to teach the slave: the capacity to ask the right question and the ability ...

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