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

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15Avoiding Thin Ice

The Gift of Advice

There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.

Gore Vidal

Someone once asked famed football coach turned ESPN commentator Lou Holtz what he considered to be the toughest part of his job as a coach. With his typical “aw shucks” charm, he finessed the question but ultimately communicated that one of the hardest parts was “teaching lessons that stay taught.”

Mentors have a similar challenge. Mentoring can involve everything from chalkboard teaching to spirited discussion to circulation of relevant articles, but one of its most challenging parts is giving advice. Recall the last time someone said, “Let me give you a little advice!” No doubt it quickly put you into ...

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