Here is one such letter I received the other day from Scott Zimmerman. He has given me permission to post it here. First, here is his blurb....
Dr. Tony Alessandra and Scott Zimmerman founded Platinum Rule Group to make the philosophy of “Do Unto Others as They Want Done Unto Them!” a standard business practice.
When you learn how to treat others the way they want to be treated, interpersonal tension disappears, trust rises and relationships flourish.
Through our books, audio/video programs, customized e-zine, corporate training, speeches, assessments, and database/communication technologies, we strive to improve our world by helping you master The Platinum Rule®.
To learn more, visit our web site: www.PlatinumRuleGroup.com
And here is the letter:
Debunking the Myths of Mentorship by Scott Zimmerman
I’m writing this article to share some insights about mentorship that I hope will help some of you accelerate your growth journey. In hindsight, I see how I wasted so much time because of faulty assumptions I made about people. My mind was making conclusions based on poor beliefs and I’d like you to learn from my mistakes.
The first myth is that highly successful people are unapproachable, standoffish, snobbish and/or too busy to lend you a helping hand. My experience has been the exact opposite!
I used to believe that authors were “gods” simply because they were my heroes. I’ve never idolized athletes, movie stars or rock stars, but authors and thought leaders were huge in my mind. When I started my first business in 1989, I began reading every type of book I could find on advertising, marketing, sales and entrepreneurship. I never stopped reading! I was amazed at how much knowledge these authors had accrued and how well they could teach me through their experiences.
Then in 2003, I read a book called Relationship Selling by Jim Cathcart. It completely changed the way I interacted with my current and prospective clients. The information was so valuable to me, I called the author (dialing that phone took guts!) to thank him. I left him a voicemail and to my surprise and delight, he called me back a few hours later! I had one of the nicest conversations I’ve ever had, although I was quite nervous.
That phone call debunked the first myth. Mr. Cathcart—who is a hugely successful author and public speaker—not only returned my call, but took a true interest in my ideas and my business. I told him how I had applied his ideas and how they had helped me sell my new contact management system.
Mr. Cathcart ended our conversation by sending an email to his best friend recommending that we talk about combining my technology with his psychology, and on December 23, 2003, I had my first conversation with Dr. Tony Alessandra!
Again, Tony was incredibly successful, yet took plenty of time to talk with me and exchange ideas. During the next year, Tony took me under his wing and gave me tons of great advice about people skills (his Platinum Rule book is amazing!), marketing, selling (his Non-Manipulative Selling book is a classic) and improving my technology. Eventually, we became business partners, but he still is—without question—my most important mentor.
Second myth: Mentors and those being mentored are on different “levels". Aristotle, Plato and Socrates knew what they were doing! They understood that learning accelerates regardless if you are the teacher or the student. Swapping both roles and information enriched both people.
Tony Alessandra and Jim Cathcart are perfect examples of shedding titles, roles and pride for the purpose of accelerating growth. When they met, Tony was an expert in marketing and Jim was a polished public speaker. They became the best of friends and “co-mentors” for each other. Jim helped Tony improve his speaking skills (he must have been one heck of a teacher; Tony and Jim were inducted into the Speaker’s Hall of Fame together in 1985) and Tony helped Jim with his marketing. Each used their particular gifts and talents to help the other shore up a weakness and the results speak for themselves.
The third myth is: Mentoring is a one-way street.
I am currently being mentored by Tony, Jim, and Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, and other brilliant, successful thought leaders. I can assure you that I learn incredible things from each and every encounter!
However, I’ve come to a recent realization that they, too, have much to gain by investing time with me. All of them are my clients and I’m privileged to help them with positioning, branding, one-to-one marketing and leveraging communication technology to grow sales through my Cyrano system.
Tony helps me with focus, speaking skills and business challenges, Jim is a genius in the area of “relationship intelligence” and Charlie is my spiritual mentor. I owe them all more than words could ever say. THANK YOU!!!
Final myth: Mentoring only occurs when two people exchange information and ideas.
I have received invaluable mentoring from people I’ve never met! People mentor me through their books, their articles, their audio programs, their movies, their shows, their blogs, and the list goes on and on!
Many of my mentors have long passed on, but their ideas continue to shape my thinking as I read the words they wrote. Tremendous Jones has taught me to read biographies; it is amazing how much can be gleaned from the thoughts and deeds by Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin and the like. I still love reading books by Og Mandino (one of Jim Cathcart’s mentors!), Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill and Norman Vincent Peale.
Here is a short summary (copy and paste this paragraph, then email it to your “attention span” challenged friends): Everyone is approachable. The more successful they are, typically the nicer they are! Mentoring relationships can occur between any two people, regardless of either level of success and/or knowledge. Mentoring is not a one-way street; quite often the person who starts off as the mentor learns just as much from the person they are mentoring. Lastly, change your view of mentoring. You can be mentored from anything (not just people): Books, seminars, articles, etc…
In closing, I wanted to brag a little on my main mentor: Dr. Tony Alessandra. He recently appeared in a new movie called The Power of Mentorship and they just now released the DVD. Tony stars along with great leaders like Bob Proctor, Marie Diamond and Vic Johnson. This movie explores eight proven laws that accelerate every growth journey. If interested, please click here to purchase copies for yourself and all those you wish to mentor.
Toward your success,
Scott Zimmerman, Managing Partner
Platinum Rule Group
If you found this encouraging let me know. And you never know your luck I might review those books for you at some stage.