Mentors: How to Help and Be Helped describes the impact that a series of significant people have had on the author – from the wayward youths he tried to emulate growing up in Essex, through the first ex-junkie sage, to the people he turns to today to help him be a better father. It explores how we all – consciously and unconsciously – choose guides, mentors and heroes throughout our lives and examines the new perspectives they can bring. This audiobook includes an exclusive bonus-feature with the author, Russell Brand, who shares his tips on how to establish a successful mentor relationship.
Russell Brand has a way of writing things in a way that sounds like it is something you’d expect at a Poetry Slam. It is insightful and visual, poignant and eloquent, humorous and heartfelt. Not like Chewbacca in a taxi. You get the idea?
However, most of this book is the journey through Russell’s life and the key people who have and still do influence and help him on the path to being a better person. It’s another book in my canon of ‘success’ stories and what it takes to be better at being human. Russell takes us through his addiction, his showbiz life, and parenthood, plus all the cracks and bridges in between. He explains how his mentors helped him, but also discusses the traits of mentors so you get an idea of how to be when your calling comes – even a friend might end up citing you as an inspiration (or mentor in some form) even after you support them during the briefest of periods.
Russell ends the book with the 12-step process used in his recovery (which is also the basis for many structured programs of all types) and proposes this as a model for mentoring in general. Very useful. He also guides the reader to seek out mentors and help identify the qualities you expect from them and what they expect from you for it to work. Although short, this is a good introduction to the framework of mentoring and a lovely way to say thanks to all the people who have (and still do) positively impact his life.