What do Jessica Alba, Rachel Roy, and Lauren Bush all have in common? Well, besides great hair, they all understand the importance of having a professional mentor. In LinkedIn’s latest content series, “The Mentor Who Shaped Me,” each of the business execs look back on how the mentorship influenced their career and business experiences.
“Mentorship is valuable because there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow. I appreciate mentors that have a great balance of experience and guts,” Alba said. “In today’s marketplace, you need a bit of both to truly stand out. For me, professional development is about building upon practical feedback and applying it in real-world situations. Since that’s what I’ve learned the most from, that’s what I try to relay to anyone who asks me for advice.”
Those are wise words from a woman who successfully transitioned from starring in Good Luck Chuck to cofounding The Honest Company, which closed more than $70 million in investments to facilitate rapid growth last year.
But mentorship doesn’t always need to have a business-only approach—take it from fashion designer Rachel Roy, who cites Deepak Chopra as her mentor.
“I observed how he spoke to people, how he answered people, what he said, in those beautiful complicated sentences he formed within his head, and in doing so I became more of the person I wanted to be,” Roy said. “Here the universe had allowed me to meet someone I so greatly admired and learned from — and because I was so thankful, I tried my best to never take from him but to allow his nature, his information to sink in me.”
Once you find yourself in a powerful position, it can be hard to ask for help. But Lauren Bush’s experience building her company, FEED, shows that the best way to receive help you want is to admit you need it first.
“It is important as a leader to be the first to admit what you don’t know. Seek out mentors in those areas as well as mentors who inspire and motivate you in areas where you already excel. To know someone who you respect has your best interest in mind and will give you candid, albeit sometimes tough, advice is an invaluable gift.”