The trusted friend in whose care Odysseus left his family and household while off winning the Trojan War, was Mentor. So competent and trustworthy was he, Athena saw fit to disguise herself as Mentor in order to guide Telemachus (son of Odysseus) in a quest to find his father who had been absent all the years of his youth. No one makes it alone—not even in the heroic age of Homer.

The wise counsel a mentor provides in some occupational pursuit or in life itself is becoming ever more valuable and in greater evidence in our advancing society. Mentoring shows up as life coaching, as Master Mind groups where individuals serve one another according to their needs and expertise, and in companies like ours. Every new employee has an experienced staff member handpicked to guide them into life at Schmidt Associates and to serve as their ‘go-to’ person.

Humanity would never make any appreciable progress if everyone had to do it all alone. Happily, we borrow and build on each others’ achievements instead. Seek a mentor, then serve as mentor—this is legacy.

“I believe our legacy will be defined by the accomplishments and fearless nature by which our daughters and sons take on the global challenges we face. I also wonder if perhaps the most lasting expression of one’s humility lies in our ability to foster and mentor our children.”

—Naveen Jain