I have had formal mentors in the past, and it served me really well. These days I haven’t really made the time or felt I’ve connected with the right kind of people. This got me thinking, what if I made my own virtual board of high profile people I could only dream of learning from?
I wouldn’t have to meet with this board, but as a bit of an experiment, I could listen to a podcast or watch an online video of them, and see if I could get the same value as a face to face board.
Virgin Unite, entrepreneur, virtual director board, Jamie Green
So I set about creating my own virtual board of directors. I chose:
Tim Ferris: This guy wrote the Four Hour Work Week and he hosts the podcast series, The Tim Ferris Show. Tim is an American who articulates his message well, he is super educated and always seems to be pushing the boundaries and experimenting. His podcast is dedicated to interviews and debunking humans who are at the top of their game in a variety of fields (sometimes he does this while drinking wine). With over 150 podcasts under his belt, imagine all the stories and examples he has! That’s a mind that is perfect for my virtual board.
Russell Brand: Because, man, no matter how serious things get (global warming eating the world whole-kinda serious) what is life without laughter?! Russell’s Trews news channel on YouTube is backed by facts (most of the time), it's funny and almost always has a completely different take on what the mainstream media is pushing. One of the things I try to do on a daily basis is think the opposite, which can be a challenge when you read or listen to similar things as everybody else. This is just one of the reasons I think Russ makes a great virtual board member.
Seth Godin: American marketing guru, this guy wrote the book Purple Cow and has some great insight into standing out in the crowd or finding your tribe of fans/customers. He is known to bang on about how and why the traditional advertising system is broken. He has an online alternative MBA (altMBA) program that is about leadership and urging people to think differently and shift the status quo.
Virgin Unite, entrepreneur, virtual director board, Jamie Green2
Note: Yes, my board is made up of three men. This is intentional – my next experiment is to create a virtual board of three women and see if there are any differences in the effects of this style of mentorship.
I make sure to schedule some time each week to check in with the board of directors, spend some time listening to their ideas and how they can enhance or help me navigate my own.
I challenge you to think, who would be on your virtual board, and why? This could be the new style of digital mentorship, and maybe it’s worth a shot.
This blog is part of a mini series created by Jamie Green, exploring the world of social entrepreneurship, business for good and shared learning.
For more from this series, check out Jamie's previous blog, 'Why I'm an entrepreneur and why you don't have to be'.
- This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details.