Realization of a Mentor: Educator Vs Practitioner
Startup Guru/ Entrepreneur mentor/ Growth Hacker and many more fancy titles attract my attention when I was trying to find a business mentor for Information Developers Foundation.
When I dig deep, unfortunately, I found most of them has practically no experience in running own venture so It was difficult for me to consider them as a coach for my organization.
Very interesting Incidents-
One day in a Scum gathering in Bangalore I meet my old senior colleague and after a candid conversation, he slipped me his flashy visiting card with big designations- “Agile Coach/Change Agent/ Enterprise growth hacker”.
Curious me, asked him when and how? He replied, after laid off he did CSM training and since then he is providing this growth hacking training.
So, training world is full of educators who never worked in real time or quit the industry way back and providing training.
Let us take this example
Have you ever googled any recipe? For example – if you search what is the ratio of water and flour to make a perfect dough, you will get a result 1:2. But some chefs would write:-its 1:2 but the quantity of water can be little more or less depending on the quality of flour.
That’s the difference between an educator and a practitioner. Minute very minute but that makes the difference.
Practicing technology is different from learning in the classroom. In this blog post, I am going to discuss the reasons, why I personally prefer to learn from practitioners rather than educators or businessman (unless I have to learn business).
This is my hard learned lesson.
I believe we need to develop an ecosystem to bridge the gap between industry practitioner and learners.
Apart from the zeal of learning it is very important whom and how you select your mentors.
The curriculum, fancy website, impressive videos, state-of-art facilities etc can have an advantage but the matter most is who is going to deliver.
Book and curriculum matters but who is delivering matter the most.
Having the knowledge of a tool or skill and its implementation is what you are taught in a learning session. The concept you get through an educator is exactly the way the guide or the theory refers.
Everything gets clear and, in a review, test you get the highest percentile.
You might be thinking, then why not to learn from them.
The difference is here-
The theory you learn is framed according to a favorable or certain situation that normally you face in an organization.
The case studies are the ones that are frequent to an organization.
What if a unique situation comes before you or you get into another problem.
A practitioner can tell you about those probable problems that you might face.
As he is facing those issues and is well versed with the real-life scenarios he can help you how to think out of the box and deal with a situation.
A theoretical knowledge gives you the base to drive perfectly on a smooth path but practical knowledge equips you with a skill to drive on bumpy roads as well.
You can do the time estimation of any work more precisely if you are guided by a practitioner.
Forget the mathematics question we used to solve through unitary method. That’s what we learn from an educator.
It’s not that it doesn’t work, but sometimes the conditions are different.
You will have to understand the pressure, the need, the resources, the bugs arising between and the factors influencing your project.
The project development on which the dependency of your project lies should also be kept in mind to make a perfect time estimation.
A practitioner can give you all the minute details that may come your way and the ideas to handle it more precisely.
Have you ever tried learning a recipe by googling it? There would definitely be a great difference between the taste of the recipe made by a new cook and an experienced one.
The difference is just because of the experience of handling real-life situations. Though the knowledge passed on is the same but doing it with real experiences makes it better.
A practitioner will show you real case studies, let you work on the projects and understand the details.
Learning is always better when we do it ourselves than studying it.
A practitioner is in the active life of facing such situations but an educator is viewing it from the other end. For a better clarity you do not need to mug up the knowledge but to educate yourself.
Cracking the interview is the crucial step you need to clear after any training.
An educator can teach you the knowledge but that is not what exactly is asked in an interview.
Take an example:
For a job of critical responsibility why not a company hire the university topper in the domain but prefer an experienced candidate having years of experience in the domain, and he may not necessarily be the topper.
Just because of the fact that he knows how to deal with real situations, how to handle different resources involved etc.
A practitioner will tell you the interview tricks better because he is facing it regularly himself.
A guess paper can pass you in an exam but to be on top, the concepts should be clear and handy.
A practitioner has a good collection of frequent questions asked in an interview and also the list of hot topics going on in the industry to select the best out of the better applicants.
These four directional reasons are enough to let you think before you finalize your mentor. Compare the difference and learn from where you can be more contemporary, and carved to face any interview with ease.
In nutshell before joining any course talk to your mentor, see his public profiles, work experiences not the fancy marketing materials.