Tom Jones wrote the lyrics to a 1977 disco song performed by John Paul Young. The first few bars of this popular song go: “Love is in the air, everywhere I look around; Love is in the air, every sight and every sound.” Substitute the word, “learning” for “love” and you have the precise objective of partnership-based mentoring. If your protégé gave you a grade for what kind of protégé you were to them, what grade would you get? Reciprocal learning is the objective of a learning partnership—we are together in the pursuit of learning.

I have a fabulous publicity team working on the launch of Managers as Mentors called Weaving Influence. One bright star on this team has been a mentor to me—Amy Driehorst. Amy is the team’s social media expert. Yesterday, she gently nudged me about better follow-up; this morning at 7am she sent me a fabulous document she had written about the concepts in my book. It honestly sounded like I had written it.

But, there’s more! She extracted more from my concepts than I had seen and she played them back to me without one speck of ownership or boastfulness. It was as if “learning was in the air everywhere she looked around” and she simply blew some my way.

Mentoring is not about delivering expertise, it is about shoehorning learning into every sight and every sound. Thank you, Amy, for being my mentor!