Thanks for the great podcasts! I've been listening for about a month and in that time I've caught up on just about everything.
I'm young (at 27 I think I can say that for another year or two) and new to my company. After working a few years for the College I attended and earning my MBA, I decided it was time to join a corporate environment which I did in March (this is my first forray into corporate America and the first job that could actually lead "somewhere"). At present I am managing two projects but do not have any direct reports. In the past three months I'm told my name has already come up often as a sought after individual among other team and departmental managers within the company. I'm proud of this but also concerned about a plateau in my development and having a ceiling placed on my future. I feel that mentoring is a great prescription for me.
1) I've sent an introductory e-mail regarding mentoring to an individual whom I respect a great deal and would very much like to emulate. I've given some very general concepts of the relationship and asked that he suggest a convenient time for us to talk about details and see if we might form a montor/ee relationship of mutual benefit. The problem is in the fact that he lives and works 5 hours away, leading a different company, in a different, allbeit similar industry and has an extensive global travel schedule. He is in my area several times per year and I would be willing to make the trip to see him a time or two per year. I'm really hopeful that he'll make the investment in me.
My question really is should I also seek a mentor within my own relatively flat (only 3 levels between CEO and myself) company? Of the people who would satisfy other crieteria of a mentor, I don't know any of them well enough at this point to truly respect/admire them. And whether for one year or three tying myself to someone I don't yet know well doesn't seem to be a wise move. Should I ask some people I do know and trust/respect for referrals?
The tools and techniques you provide through Manager-Tools are tremendous. You are making a great difference already in my effectiveness.