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#givefirst

Mentors 16/18: Provide Specific Actionable Advice

There’s a tenuous balance between telling someone what to do and giving advice. It’s especially difficult as a mentor, especially if you’ve previously been a CEO and are used to being “the decider.” As a mentor, you aren’t the decider. The CEO you are mentoring is the decider. This dynamic is also true for many board…

Mentors 14/18: Accept and Communicate With Other Mentors That Get Involved

Two mentors in one of the Techstars programs were both people who I knew well. They hated each other as a result of being co-founders of companies that had been bitter rivals. Each company was successful, but their paths ended up being very different. These two co-founders hadn’t interacted with each other, but the CEOs of…

Mentors 15/18: Be Optimistic

Last month I took two weeks completely off the grid. As part of it, I spent some time working on my next book, Give First. As part of that, I finished up the sections on Deconstructing the Techstars Mentor Manifesto. While I wrote a draft of this post over a month ago, It felt appropriate…

Generosity Burnout

HBR recently did an interview with me around the idea of generosity burnout. It’s part of the challenge that Adam Grant is exploring after the huge success and impact of his book Give and Take. There’s a longer article on HBR by Adam about the general concept of generosity burnout. It’s a good read and it’s…

GiveFirst: I Feel Like I Don’t Know How To Help You

Periodically, at the end of a conversation, someone will ask me, “Is there something I can do for you?” I used to answer with “Do something that is helpful to something or someone in my world.” I usually get a pause and occasionally get a response similar to “I’m not really sure what to do to help…