Mentoring others is a great opportunity give back…and to grow.  My role as a Venture Mentor for Arizona State University has given me the opportunity to work with founders across several industries. While my primary focus is on helping them, I always come away from these engagements with something that helps me continue to grow.

Each person I  mentor brings something different to the table – interesting perspectives, fresh ideas, new approaches and unique challenges and opportunities.  I always start by learning as much as I can about the individual(s), their goals, progress, challenges, ideas and priorities.  Only then do I begin to draw on my own experiences for ways in which I can be of assistance.

This process of seeking to understand before seeking to be understood not only leads to a more productive relationship, it also provides an opportunity for me to see and process things differently than I have in the past.  It’s a great way to keep learning and growing.

Want to learn more about mentoring and ASU’s efforts to encourage and nurture innovation? Here is a recent ASU Online article about my role as a Venture Mentor for ASU – https://asuonline.asu.edu/newsroom/sun-devil-life/qa-venture-mentor-ric-leutwyler