Many would agree that the line between leadership and mentorship is a blurry one. It was therefore no surprise to me earlier this week when someone asked me to talk about my mentor, I quickly began thinking about the great leaders in my life.
Truth is, I’ve been surrounded by great leaders and mentors throughout my professional life, and tend to focus on them when answering such a question. There is, however, another group of people who I consider to be both great leaders and mentors, though I never actually met them in person.
These people are leaders on the internet, people such as the VlogBrothers or Felicia Day (there are so many I cannot name them all) who, in spite of everything bad that can happen on the internet, have been putting themselves out there for all to critique. The result is such people end up being positive examples, and in a way mentors, for the slew of people online who want to start their own webseries, blogs, vlogs, websites, etc… And even these people had their own mentors.
Hank Green, in an early VlogBrothers video, gives credit to zefrank, a web pioneer who himself served as a mentor, leader and inspiration for the brothers (who have since founded Nerdfighters, a social group of over 75k official members from all over the interwebs). The zefrank video he uses as an example is the following, where zefrank discusses ideas and Brain Crack.
I have to admit that the video definitively served as a wake-up call, helping me realize that I was addicted to Brain Crack myself, and that I needed to get my ideas out there, and not squat on them hoping that they would one day become perfect.
I invite everyone out there to watch the video, the message of which is quite simply: stop thinking about it, get out there and do it!