In which I tell you about our SXSW panel about mentoring.

If you’re in Austin and you’re attending SXSW Interactive, this one is for you. Well, mostly for me and Aaron, but for you as well.

Obviously mentoring is a big deal to me. Obviously I talk about it a lot. And I have a fantastic set of mentors that I can call on for various things and a handful of people I’m mentoring as well. Fact of the matter is, if you want to get shit done and get it done right with the best people possible, a mentor isn’t a bad thing to have.

Let me set the stage for our presentation on Sunday. We’re not sitting in front of the room up on an elevated platform, armed with Powerpoint slides. In fact, at 3:30, we’ll be in room 5ABC at the Austin Convention Center, with a bunch of chairs, ready for a killer discussion on all things mentoring.

Our presentation (conversation, really) is called “Road Rules for Mentorship: What’s Appropriate (and What’s Not).” We hope to answer a variety of questions, mostly about what are some ways you can find a mentor, keep one around after you’ve snuggled up under their wing, and what’s appropriate for mentorly fodder (and what’s not).

What this isn’t about: two people talking AT you. We want to talk WITH you. We have some stuff to chat about, mostly articles about generational differences that have been popping up here and there, as I think that plays a lot into the importance of mentoring, but we really just want it to be a rolling conversation. No frills, no fuss.

Some things I’m interested in learning about from all of you:

  • There is a fine line between mentoring and giving away the goods for free – ie life coaching, consulting, etc. What is that line and how do you walk it?
  • Do you have mentors? How did they come to be in that position in your life? Did you march right up to them and ask them to play this role for you or did it evolve naturally?
  • Do you think mentoring sounds too formal? What’s your interpretation and reaction to this whole mentoring shenanigans?

So if you’re available at 3:30 on Sunday, we’d love to see you in our little corner of the convention center. We’ll be coming from AllHat, so I’m sure the conversation will be lively. :)

What panels are you going to? What content are you super pumped to consume this year?