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A Fairy Tale: Part 3 – The Role of a Mentor

The story of Iron John continues (explore Part 1 and Part 2). When the boy realized his choice to release Iron John ruined the life he had at home, he cried out for help. Iron John turned around, put the boy on his shoulders and started off into the woods. As they strode off together, Iron John said, “I have riches more than you will ever know, but you can never go home again.”


When we are living in the grip of pleasing and becoming what others want us to be, we have no need of a mentor. We know the rules. We know that our success will come from following along, fitting in, and saying and doing what is expected. We are going along to get along. A mentor would only mess things up. We don’t want someone who asks hard questions, who stirs things up, who challenges us to think about what might be missing.


But, when we choose our freedom, a mentor is critical. The boy has lost everything. He is alone in the world without the help of anyone.


Iron John is a wonderful mentor. He is a wild man. He has traveled the journey the boy is just starting. He knows the ropes. He isn’t asking the boy to do anything he hasn’t done himself.   He owns his freedom. He doesn’t want the boy to please him. He supports the boy’s freedom and will help the boy to find his life; the life that was meant to him. And, Iron John has enormous riches. He is not someone who pretends to be successful. He is amazingly successful. His life shows the boy where a life of true freedom can go.


Do you have a mentor? You don’t need one if you living your life pleasing others. It is only if you are the journey for “the more” in your life that you need Iron John. And, if you are on the journey of freedom, where will you find your Iron John?


Pick wisely. There are coaches, teachers, preachers and guides who promise to assist you on your journey. Be careful to pick one who lives the life they preach and who truly has the inner riches from having walked the lonely path of freedom.

About Jack Skeen

Jack Skeen
Jack Skeen, founder of Skeen Leadership, has been coaching bright and successful leaders for close to two decades, spending thousands of hours addressing every imaginable leadership, business and life issue with wisdom and professionalism.

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