Get yourself A-list mentors by reading autobiographies

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mentors through reading

If you could choose a mentor, any mentor, dead or alive, who would you choose?

Wouldn’t it be amazing if your ideal mentor came into your life for real to impart their life-learned wisdom? Well you might be in luck if your ideal mentor has written an autobiography.

Full of life experiences, reading someone’s autobiography can be like having them in a room with you and being given the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of some of the most successful individuals on the planet.

Autobiographies not only give us an insight into the trials and tribulations, mistakes and successes of someone’s life, they also tell us the behind-the-scene stories; and it’s here where the value of the humble autobiography lies. To get the most value out of reading an autobiography, make sure to pay close attention to the person’s mindset, habits and actions.


8 great autobiographies for mentorship:


Michelle Obama – Becoming

Barack Obama has often spoken about the value of Michelle’s mentoring back in 1989 when Michelle was assigned as Barack’s mentor at their law firm.

Michelle describes this autobiography as a deeply personal experience, going into detail about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother.

A great book for those looking for strong female guidance, or mentorship in confidence and growth.

“Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there’s more growing to be done.”

Michelle Obama


Warren Buffet – The Snowball

If he’s a good enough mentor for Bill Gates, he’s a good enough mentor for me! Warren Buffett if quite possibly the most successful investor of all time and if you’re looking for mentorship in finance, investment or business, this book is a must-read.

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get”

Warren Buffett


Gandhi – The Story of My Experiments with Truth

Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule. So much wisdom packed into just one book.

The autobiography talks a lot about Gandhi’s difficult childhood and his profession as a lawyer before covering his journey to South Africa and his fight against human rights and inequality. The fact that so much of the book focusses on his time before his campaign for India’s independence shows how much we can learn from his journey.

A recommended read for those looking for motivation and spiritual guidance through mentorship.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world

Mahatma Gandhi


Barack Obama – A Promised Land

In Barack’s second autobiography, we are pulled straight into the Oval office and travel the world by his side. As he reflects on his presidency, Barack gives us a thoughtful and generous insight into both the power and the limitations of his position as 44th President of the United States.

Barack shares his personal thoughts and reflections on the dynamics of partisan politics and we are offered the opportunity to learn about leadership, diplomacy and democracy. A great book for those looking for mentorship in leadership or politics.

If I remain hopeful, it’s because I’ve learned top place my faith in my fellow citizens, especially those of the next generation.

Barack Obama


Steve Jobs

The father of smartphones and 21st Century visionary; not everyone agreed with Steve Job’s leadership style but no one can deny him his accomplishments.

For such a successful individual, the book is full of failures which is one of the most useful things to hear about in mentorship. A great book for those seeking mentorship in leadership, innovation and business.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

Steve Jobs


Sheryl Sandberg – Lean In

In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg shares her personal stories alongside research, to shine a light on gender differences, and offers practical advice to help women achieve their goals. The book challenges us to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what we can do, and serves as a rallying cry for us to work together to create a more equal world.

The perfect book if you are looking for strong female mentorship and career guidance, especially at C-Suite level.

Ask yourself; ‘What would I do if I weren’t afraid?’ And then go do it.

Sheryl Sandberg


Ruth Bader Ginsburg – A Life

The private, public, legal and philosophical life story of the 107th Supreme Court Justice, and one of the most profound and profoundly transformative legal minds of our time.

This biography was fifteen years in work, written with the cooperation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself and based on many interviews with the justice.

If you are looking for mentorship in advocacy, change or just simple work ethic, this is the book for you.

Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Nelson Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela’s autobiography tells the inspirational story of one of the greatest leaders of our time. The book covers his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison as well as his reflection on the constant struggle for race equality.

This autobiography is filled with mentorship value about lifelong, dialogue-rich learning.

I never lose. I either win or learn.

Nelson Mandela

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