An open letter to an aspiring mentor.
Imagine finding yourself about to drop on the very first meeting of a newly created team. This was randomly chosen for you to guide into a global challenge with other 50+ teams representing more than 15 countries. Now, imagine opening up your browser, connecting to a zoom room, and seeing these unknown, smiling individuals.
Small talks precede formal introductions. Your first thought is that the cold weather patterns in central Europe seem slightly less enjoyable than the tepid rising sun of the Australian Gold Coast!
Then, professional backgrounds emerge: the first one is a Russian senior manager with 20+ years of commercial experience at companies like Amazon and Visa. It follows an Australian MBA professor and entrepreneur; a Spanish Senior Product Engineer at HP and a Clinical Research Specialist with a vast project manager experience based in Berlin.
Now you ask yourself: how in the world people with such different educational, professional, and cultural backgrounds can, in only three hours, find a quick, suitable, scalable idea to create the future of Education?
Your second thought: 2:43 minutes to go! It’s going to be impossible!
But you are not there to give up. You need to act fast and the team needs some structure, some support. A coordinator to properly manage the time: check! A “designer” to prepare and gather inputs into a PowerPoint presentation: Check! A suitable comfortable public speaker to record a video: check!
A third thought: Wait a second… WHY are you here again? WHY are all these people here?
The reality is that all these creative minds and talented professionals came together for the same reason: generating ideas and making an impact in the future of education! That’s the keystone: It’s about Purpose!
Minute after minute of this frenetic workshop, you are able to see a group of individuals discussing ideas, laughing, arguing and becoming a real team… in just three hours!
Don’t get me wrong! It’s not easy nor automatic, but the PURPOSE, represents the driving force for true alignment. It sets the common values among all team members. It becomes an indisputable key element for the creation of an idea and its evolution into a meaningful initiative. Purpose is the first step in the development of a modern organization.
All the sudden, while you watch them wrapping up the video in the very last seconds of the challenge a final thought crosses your mind: when things get rough and members will disagree and get mad at each other, they will always be able to look back at this video and find alignment. Today they all ended up in your zoom room. For some it’s 2 am, for some 10 am and for some others it's 3 pm and they are all there, unfolding ideas together, for the exact same why!
Dear mentor, enjoy and celebrate your new extraordinary team. They all just met three hours ago and yet they seem truly ready to bring a real solution to make the future of education a bit better. Now, you can call this as you want! It’s some kind of magic to me!