What Can You Learn from Maya Angelou, “Mentor Extraordinaire?”

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou said, “In order to be a mentor, and an effective one, one must care.”

We lost a powerful voice in the past week when Maya Angelou passed, but her voice will continue on. Ms. Angelou had a life of mentoring and touched the lives of millions who have had joy in reading her works. In the fuller quote below, she speaks to the role of a mentor in her relatable yet eloquent way:

“In order to be a mentor, and an effective one, one must care.

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Mentors – Are You an Annoyingly “Good Example?” (btw That’s a Good Thing!)


“Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”
– Mark Twain

My grandma used to encourage me to hang around a certain couple of kids in middle school. She felt I needed a good example and boy, was she ever right. Those were the teeter-totter years when a kid could spin off in a wrong direction. Here was a typical late-night conversation around our kitchen table….

Grandma: “Honey, why don’t you spend time with that tall boy, Dan, and that dark-haired girl, Carolyn? They are such nice young kids. That Dan, he’s an excellent example of gentlemanly conduct. And Carolyn, she’s a shining example of a conscientious student. It would be good for you to spend time with friends like that.”

Me: “Because I like Mark and Deb. They are examples . . . in their own way.”

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Could Your #Mentoring Relationship Become “Too Bonding?”


“It was impossible to get a conversation going.
Everyone was talking too much.”
-Yogi Berra

#Mentor, does your mentee invade your space? Maybe want to be a little too close?

Yesterday my friend was talking to me about “close talkers.” You know who they are – the ones who talk excitedly about six inches from your face, laughing, speaking loudly with sweeping gestures. (Unfortunately, you are forced to experience the cheese and onion enchilada they had for dinner the night before. Too Close!)

What’s your first reaction to this person? I’m guessing it’s taking a jumbo step backwards . . . and quickly!

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Lori Bachman created The MentorShift Group to equip mentors and mentees with a practical and powerful mentoring system. The system is designed to equip those who use it to, not only flourish in their own mentoring relationships, but to be able to transfer its success to others as well.