10 Famous Mentoring Relationships & How You Can Get a Mentor

Learn how beneficial mentorship can be from these 10 successful mentoring relationships. Find a perfect mentor to motivate and boost your professional growth



I know you've heard it a thousand times, but it's true. Mentorship can accelerate both your professional and personal growth.

Often we need a push to reach our goals or stay on the right track.

And finding the right person at the right time can completely change the direction of your career.

A survey by Forbes shows that 76% of people deem mentorship essential but only 37% of the people have them.

Why the gap you may ask? πŸ‘€

βœͺ There can be a lack of understanding of the importance of mentorship.

βœͺ They may not know how to find a mentor.

βœͺ They are afraid of rejection.

βœͺ The other reason could be the fear of asking for help.

It is important to remind yourself that mentorship is a continuous cycle.

Almost all successful entrepreneurs and leaders have had mentors to guide them.

One needs to set mentorship expectations right from the beginning.

It is only by preserving this relationship one can gain the maximum benefit of it.

Let us take a look at these 10 influential mentor-mentee relationships that have created a global impact and inspired millions of people every day.πŸ’«

1. Mark Zuckerberg

The co-founder of one of the biggest social media platforms Facebook, Mark had his fair share of troubles during the early days.

He recalls that they hit a rough patch and a lot of people wanted to buy Facebook. He then reached out to none other than Steve jobs, the co-founder of Apple.

Meeting with Steve gave him a new perspective to reconnect with the company's mission.

Another great mentor that guided Zuckerberg was Don Graham, the CEO of the Washington Post Company.

It was through shadowing Graham's behaviour that Zuckerberg learnt how to become a successful CEO.

2. Bill Gates

One of the richest men and former CEO of Microsoft credits his success to Warren Buffet.

Buffet, the owner of Berkshire Hathaway, taught him to deal with and get out of tough situations. Their friendship of 31 years has created a deep bond where their relationship is more than that of a mentor-mentee.

They have partnered in different ventures. Bill Gates referred to Buffet as β€œone of a kind.”

Warren Buffett also has been an active contributing member of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

One of the biggest pieces of advice Buffet gave him was to ask him why he could do better at Microsoft compared to IBM.

He asked, β€œHey, Microsoft is a small company, IBM is this huge company, why can you do better?β€πŸ’‘

Bill says that no one ever asked him this. It led to a lot of thought-provoking questions that fast-tracked Microsoft's growth.

3. Sudha Murty

This list cannot be completed without mentioning successful women entrepreneurs like Sudha Murty.

The chairperson of Infosys and Padma Shri recipient is an inspiration to millions.

She fought for her rights at a time when men were dominating the job market.

She was the first woman engineer in Telco where she fought to remove the gender bias and gain her place.

She recalls how JRD Tata's words inspired her while leaving TELCO. He told her that it is only right to give back to the society from which you have received love.

This led her to find the Infosys foundation, an NGO that supports the education, healthcare and development of rural areas.

4. Sheryl Sandberg

The former COO of Facebook and the author of the best-seller, Lean In, Sheryl shares that she has benefited from mentorship throughout her career.

Sherly quotes mentorship as the key driver of success. She believes that we can mentor anyone at any stage of our career.

In her book, she mentions that it is important to have a strong mentor-mentee relationship.

Mentorship is something that is earned. You need to show your determination and investment in your success.πŸ†

5. Sundar Pichai

It's not easy to manage one of the largest tech companies.

Planning its growth while keeping in mind the interest of millions of users.

So what motivates Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google to keep going every day?

Bill Campbell, the former football coach at Columbia University would ask Pichai a question whenever they would meet, "what ties did you break this week?"

The tie here did not mean breaking any relationship but rather dead ends.

Pichai explains that there are always going to be two sides to a coin. When taking a decision it will have its fair share of agreements and disagreements.

The key here is to prioritise the matter at hand and not look for perfection.

Look for progress and see the bigger picture.

Pichai ponders over this question even today.

6. Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos' former boss David Shaw helped shape what he is today.

The former CEO thanked him for building skills that led Amazon to where it is today.

In a 2018 panel discussion, he also credited his success to his role models. Warren Buffet, Bob Iger and Jamie Dimon were the three CEOs whom he looked up for inspiration.

7. Satya Nadella

Who do you think is the mentor of the current CEO of Microsoft?

The answer is none other than Bill Gates.

Another person who changed his outlook toward work was Doug Burgum.

The governor of North Dakota told Nadella that he will be spending more time at Microsoft than with his kids.

This led him to connect his passion and work.

  • Why is he at Microsoft?
    • What changes does he want?
      • What relationship does he want to build?
        • What impact is he looking to create?
          • Another great piece of advice that he got from Bill and Steve [former CEOs] was not to be like them. To not think of his role as succeeding them.

            8. Oprah Winfrey

            Self-made billionaire and celebrity Oprah Winfrey is a role model to millions. Winfrey's mentor Maya Angelou was a poet and civil rights activist.

            Winfrey recalls that when she met Angelou she would never have imagined creating such a strong bond.

            She says that Maya has been with her on her every step.

            She has been one of the most significant influences on her.

            She remembers her not only as a mentor but also as a mother and sister. Now, Oprah is following in Maya's footsteps and has embarked on the same journey to help others.

            She says that mentors are important and she doesn't think that anybody can make it without any form of mentorship.

            9. Indra Nooyi

            Former CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi was known for her excellent skills and leadership.

            She was known to simplify complex concepts and communicate effectively.

            This ability led her to build a reputation for herself. In her memoir, My Life in Full, she credits Gerhard Schulmeyer for teaching her this skill.

            He ran the automotive division of Motorola.

            Working under him for 8 years, she learnt this foundation skill. According to her, when you learn something, keep the mindset of a student.

            10. Leena Nair

            The current CEO of Chanel is close with former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi.

            Nair tells that she reached out to Nooyi and requested her to be her mentor.

            Leena in a discussion with Moneycontrol tells that there have been times when she doubted herself. Nooyi motivated her to get over those trying times and helped her gain back her confidence.

            She has been there to guide Nair from time to time and is very grateful to her both as a friend and a mentor.

            How to find a mentor?🧐

            Mentors can be found in all professions. It can be a sports mentor, business mentor or interview mentor.

            A successful mentor-mentee relationship is built upon trust and effort. If you are honest about your flaws and negatives then only the mentor can help you.

            You may not have these entrepreneurs on your contact list. But you can find a mentor to fit your needs.

            Mentors can ask the right questions. They improve your productivity and inspire you to utilise your full potential.

            Before looking for a mentor make sure that they,

            βœ… Have relevant knowledge

            βœ… Are enthusiastic to help

            βœ… Are honest about their feedback

            βœ… Can listen to your opinions

            βœ… Want you to grow

            Here are a few ways how you can find a mentor with the above qualities;

            🟒 Mentorship platform

            The easiest way to find a mentor is to join a mentorship program through mentorship platforms. Look for credible platforms on Google. Search for one that is relevant to your industry. Some examples are;

            πŸ‘‰ Preplaced

            Preplaced is a 1:1 mentorship-driven interview preparation platform. If you are looking for career counselling, mock interviews or a complete Interview preparation strategy then look no further.

            With mentors from FAANG companies, you can ensure your success at the interview.

            You can start by booking a trial session to gauge the benefits.

            πŸ‘‰ GrowthMentor

            Founded in 2018, this platform is a great place for startup founders. Marketers can have one-on-one discussions with mentors about growth and other related topics.

            πŸ‘‰ The Muse

            This is a career mentoring platform. The main services are resume reviewing, career Q&A with mentors, LinkedIn profile reviewing and job search strategy.

            When do you know it’s time to invest in a mentorship program? Read this blog to get your answer.

            🟒 Look for people around you

            Consider reaching out to those in your own network.

            They can be your peers, colleagues, seniors or someone you have a good relationship with.

            For example, a senior of yours who graduated early can also be your mentor. You can ask them for advice and what trajectory they followed after graduating.

            🟒 Use social media platforms like LinkedIn

            LinkedIn is a great place for finding jobs, earning insights and also finding a mentor. You can connect with experts in your domain.

            Engage with their posts, have meaningful conversations and develop a relationship. Once the relationship is formed you can ask them to be your mentor.

            In short, make yourself visible. Convey that you are genuinely interested in building a relationship with them.

            You can also join groups that interest you and engage with the members on different platforms.

            Sooner or later you will stumble upon someone who you admire.

            🟒 Networking events

            Increase your network by joining networking sessions both online and offline.

            Connect with like-minded professionals in the industry. Look for those who fit your ideal mentor profile.

            Wrapping it up

            There has been a mentor beside almost every successful person.

            The mentor-mentee relationship is rewarding.

            It is essential that once you find a mentor, you cherish the learnings.

            At Preplaced, we connect you with mentors who fit your requirements. Even after the preparation is over, you can remain in touch with them.

            You can ask them doubts and update them about your achievements.

            As Sheryl Sandberg says, β€œDon’t wait for a mentor like Prince Charming.”

            It is not a fairytale.

            You have to carve out your own success journey.

            So stop procrastinating and connect with your ideal mentor.😊