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Last Update: Monday September 20, 2021

Key Idea: Depend upon Mentors

Sohrab has mentors and he works hard to mentor the young talent at his firm.

Key Question:

A: 

Owners who are arrogant can get into needless trouble because they think they have all of the answers.

It is OK to cultivate mentor / friendships from among your customers. Here is the ultimate reality check from a customer, friend and mentor. Bob Marchant says, "... the Ziba folks understand that it is not enough for the form to be interesting or exciting - or for the form to generate market acceptance. It's important for the form to be profitable, for somebody to be able to make it and for it to work reliably."

Q: We've all heard how important mentoring relationships are. But how do we actually go about finding one?

A: The biggest value a mentor brings is the broad or "forest" perspective. So the first requirement is that your mentor has to be someone outside of the company. He or she has to be more seasoned than you, which generally, although not always, means that your mentor will be quite a bit older than you. The best choice would be someone who has succeeded in getting to where you are trying to go and certainly a firm grasp of the industry you operate in is critical to the mentor's success. Last but not least, there's the personal connection, you have to be comfortable in bearing your soul to your mentor, and absolutely confident that he will treat your discussions confidentially. Start with your contact list and look through it for potential mentor candidates that meet these parameters.

Next, contact your trusted advisors, your banker, CPA, and attorney. Tell them you are looking for a mentor and ask them if they know of any candidates. Often your professional advisors specialize in your industry and are great sources of mentor candidates. Be prepared to pay your mentor. It's not always necessary but if you are looking for a formal relationship and a specific time commitment, it makes a lot of sense. The mentor is providing a service and deserves to be compensated for that service.

You can also hire a mentor directly. The executive coaching business is a big business. Interview carefully and look for someone who is already expert in your industry, very experienced, and with whom you feel a positive personal connection. It's not the best route, but an executive coach relationship is better than no mentoring relationship at all.

Think about it

Do you have a mentor? If not, do you think you would benefit from one?

Clip from: Ziba Design - Be well. Do it well. Then Do It Even Better.

Sohrab Vossoughi and his people seek a higher perfection.

Portland, Oregon:  "Be well. Do it well. Then, do it even better"  drives this industrial design firm. These creative perfectionists have come from all over the globe to work side-by-side with this man pictured above, Sohrab Vossoughi.  They want to be part of a team that can make a difference in this world and in their life.

"Strive for simplicity, innovation, human-centered interaction, visual interest, and efficiency." This is the calling card not just of a design firm; it is a calling card for all businesses for the future.

Ziba Design, Inc.

Sohrab Vossoughi, Founder, CEO

334 NW 11th Street
Portland, OR 97209
503.223.9606

Visit our web site: http://ziba.com

Office: 503.223.9606

Business Classification:
Design, Invention,

Year Founded: 1991

Depend upon Mentors

HATTIE: Bob Marchant is a friend, mentor and customer to Sohrab and he is founder of Modo, a healthcare products manufacturer. The two of them meet as often as they can to discuss the current challenges they both face in running their companies.

BOB MARCHANT: Well, Ziba is – in my mind – one of the top five design firms in the world. They have created products for leading global brands all over the world. And their products have been consistently successful. One of the things that differentiates Ziba is that all of their designers are informed, all of their designs are informed by economics. They understand that it does no good for a product to win an award but not make a profit for the customer or for the client that is actually bringing it to the market place. So in designing products for large technology companies or for large medical device companies, the Ziba folks understand that it is not enough for the form to be interesting or exciting – or for the form to generate market acceptance. It's important for the form to be profitable, for somebody to be able to make it and for it to work reliably.
 

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