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Monday Morning Mentoring

David Cottrell's book Monday Morning Mentoring: Ten Lessons to Guide You Up the Ladder was recommended to me by a colleague interested in management and leadership issues. We both agreed that it's not terribly well-written. The dialog format seems to be modeled on the best-seller Tuesdays with Morrie, and the language is wooden. Certain bits are almost laughable, e.g., the use of the term "dehire" for the act of firing a bad employee.

But Cottrell does make some good points — especially in the final chapter, "The Gift of Your Legacy". He tells the parable (which I first heard from a Boy Scout leader a decade ago) about two men who separately ask an old-timer what the people are like in a town that they're moving to. "What were the people like in the town you came from?" the codger asks. One says that they were mean and unfriendly. "Sounds about like the people who live here," is the reply. The other says that he came from a town of wonderful, helpful citizens. "Sounds about like the people who live here," is again the response.

There's a good dose of classical Stoic philosophy:

... Your attitude is completely internally controlled ... a personal response to conditions and circumstances ... no one can externally control your own attitude. ... all things that happen to us are not all within our control, but we do control how we respond to those events. We choose how we react ... no one can make that choice for us. ...

And in discussing what really counts, Cottrell quotes George Washington Carver:

How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.

(cf. BennettOnStoicism (1999-04-29), BeyondTheInnerCitadel (1999-09-26), InsideTheInnerCitadel (2002-10-15), StoicStruggles (2002-12-22), ...) - ^z - 2008-01-30

(correlates: Prudent Leadership, InnerPhilosopher, Refuse to Be Terrorized, ...)