Do You Have a Mentor?

The other day I read a throwaway comment that there is a lack of mentors in business today. It got me thinking about my career and the fact that I never had someone to challenge me and show me the way. Perhaps they were there but in my youthful self-assuredness, I just failed to recognize them and seize the opportunity. A student must be ready for the teacher. Interestingly, those coming up behind me have the same "my way" attitude that I had early in my career. Guess  this plays out over and over.

As I have matured professionally, I've become more open to thoughtful input. Today, it is easier then ever to learn from others. There are amazing people online sharing freely their experiences and learnings. White papers, blogs, podcasts and newsletters are easily accessible (for free) to everyone. Reading and listening to people like Chris Brogan, Todd Henry, the Fat Cyclist, Rajib Roy and countless others make me better.

Early in my career this was a failing for me. Today I obsessively protect who my circle of friends and associates are and it has made all the difference in my growth. They make me a better man. They make me want to be a better man.

Did you (do you) have a mentor that you relied upon? If so, I'd love to hear your experience. If not, what resources did you use to grown?