Will I Have a Yoda?

When I started my career at Leo Burnett, I was fortunate to be assigned a great mentor. At Burnett, they called the mentors Yodas. My mentor, Dave, has a voice that sounds a little like Yoda, so that was a bonus (You can hear him in this spot for Heinz ketchup).


Greg wrote awhile back about The Mentor Effect. And as a part of Ad Age’s series on the best places to work, they ran this piece by Celeste Gudas the other day. In it, she points out how important mentors are to creating a great place to work. She also points out that the more senior person can learn from the junior person, which is important.

So as you’re looking for a job, maybe add to your list of questions, “Will I have a mentor? Who will it be?” The agency might not assign someone officially. If they don’t, see if you can find an unofficial mentor.


3 thoughts on “Will I Have a Yoda?

  1. Hi guys. Love your blog. Sorry this comment isn't relevant to the blog post, but I have a question that I don't think necessarily merits bothering you guys with an email. Hope you guys don't mind.

    I have somewhat of a moral dilemma. I recently came up with a cool idea for an iPhone app for my portfolio. But upon further Googling, I saw that some person already developed an actual iPhone app that is similar to my concept about a year ago — but it no longer exists. Doesn't seem like the idea worked out for him.

    I didn't copy the idea. But still, for some reason, I'm kinda iffy on comping this idea up. I suppose I'm slightly worried there might be some accusations of plagiarism at some point down the road.

    Am I worrying too much? Is it OK to put this idea in my book? Or should I skip on this idea? I think I would otherwise simply skip on this book piece, but I suppose I'm particularly fond of this concept.

    Thanks guys…


  2. Thanks for the kind words, Anonymous. Glad you like the blog.

    Without actually seeing the pieces you're talking about, my guess is you're worrying too much. Put it in your book. You've got to have enthusiasm for your work. (Although, if the idea didn't work out for the other guy, I have to wonder about the validity of the idea. But you can make that call.)

    There's so much overlap in this industry. Years ago, Y&R pitched this tag to Sears: “Sears. Where else?” At the same time Ogilvy pitched this tag to them: “Where else? Sears.” I honestly don't think this was a case of corporate espionage. Stuff like this just happens. I have tons of stories like this. Your iPhone app is just the first of many you'll see.


  3. Greg, thank you for the advice. It helps a lot to hear from the perspective of someone working in the industry — what you said about your Sears pitch reminded me of a post I saw in the LA Egotist earlier today:


    In any case, I'll go ahead and put the piece in my book — worst comes to worst, I can simply take it out.

    Thanks again.


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