Forbes: Mentors Are Overrated – Get A Third-Base Coach

By Cindy Gustafson, Chief Strategy Officer, Head of Invention Studio, Mindshare NA

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Everyone in business wants a mentor. And everyone and their mother will tell you to get one. But “mentor” is such an over-used (and frankly, mushy) term. They’re nice, but rarely do these relationships help you fix today’s problem or get that next promotion. Take it from me: find yourself a third-base coach instead.

I played softball from T-ball though high school and it was the third-base coach who I trusted most – and knew me best. For non-sports fans, they’re the ones who stand along the foul line when your team’s up to bat and decide whether a base runner should stay, steal a base, or bunt. They’re constantly thinking about how individual batters match up to fielders. And, the best ones always watch out for you, pushing you to make fast decisions that determine whether you win or lose.

Good third-base coaches aren’t just found in ballparks. We’re surrounded by them in business. (They’re just not as easily spotted without their cleats.) They’re much more than a mentor – that safe haven for general career advice. A good third-base coach is someone who really knows you; someone who will teach you how to lean into your strengths and neutralize your weaknesses so you can score. Here’s how they do it: They’ll Teach You Your “Tells” – And Others’ Too 

Read the rest on Women@Forbes.