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The Power of Mentorship: Understanding Why You should be a Mentor with Guest Sam Thiara

S02E31 The Fallible Man Podcast - The Transcript


David Dowlen: [00:00:00] Are you mentoring anyone right now in your life? Parents would usually say, yes. It's a default thing with kids is the idea. And you should absolutely be raising your kids with a mentoring kind of mindset, but there's more to mentoring than just raising kids. But what about people who don't have their own kids?

[00:00:17] Let's be real. You need to be mentoring young people too, because at the end of the day, there are a lot of young people who don't have parents in their lives who don't have. Healthy positive influences in their lives. There's also kids whose parents are just dropping the ball and the kids that don't have them at all.

[00:00:34]On today's show, I have author, speaker and mentor Sam Vieira on the show to talk about mentorship and more guys, if you missed this TEDx talks, you should check them out, but after the show, but let's get into it for sure.


[00:00:47]My name is Brent and welcome to the fallible man podcast your home for all things, man, husband and father, we provide content to help men become the men they want to be. And today on the show, I am just grateful to have Sam Tiara join us from Vancouver, BC, Sam. Welcome to the fallible man podcast.


[00:01:07] Sam Thiara: [00:01:07] I know, I appreciate it.

[00:01:08] Brent, I look forward to being able to share with your audience and the fact that we're in the same time zone. That's a good


[00:01:14] David Dowlen: [00:01:14] thing. That is actually very nice. My last interview, he was in Australia and so scheduling that was very exciting. So Sam, you're a lecturer at the business school at Simon Fraser university.


[00:01:28] I actually do know what that is. I watched them play the air force academy down here in our hockey. They were working on moving to division four hockey. And so I got to see their team taking on the air force academy down here. And that is in or around Vancouver.


[00:01:43] Sam Thiara: [00:01:43] Yep. It's we have five campuses right in the heart of downtown Vancouver and equally our main campus sits in Burnaby, which is a suburb and Surrey, which is a suburb of Vancouver.


[00:01:54] David Dowlen: [00:01:54] Okay. I know both places, but I just, I'm not familiar intimately familiar with it enough to know exactly how that laid out. Yep. It's right in the heart of downtown then.


[00:02:03]Sam Thiara: [00:02:03] So there's yeah, a number of different campuses, but the main campus is located up on the mountain in Burnaby, which is maybe 25 minutes from downtown Vancouver.


[00:02:12] You

[00:02:12] David Dowlen: [00:02:12] have a lovely area of Vancouver is beautiful. You guys filmed a lot of movies up there. Oh, we do.


[00:02:17] Sam Thiara: [00:02:17] And where I live, I'm three blocks away from the wilderness in north Vancouver where the mountains are about seven minutes. If you drive down, you get to the waterfront. And if I need to go right into the heart of downtown, I just hop on the passenger ferry in 12 minutes.


[00:02:33] I'm in the heart of downtown. And Vancouver is similar to Washington state Seattle with regards to temperature and things. Generally the snow stays up on the mountains and then you could actually ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon.


[00:02:48] David Dowlen: [00:02:48] Yeah. I I'm not a big city. I'm not a city person. I don't like being in town, but for a city, Vancouver is really nice.


[00:02:54] I do like Vancouver, you guys have quite a thing going up there. So you lecture there, but you also have a consulting and coaching business from what I understand. And you've been on the TEDx stage twice now, which is quite an accomplishment. Congratulations. Thank you. I could list off all the many accolades, which picking a few to introduce you was very difficult for me, but I'm actually a horrible podcast host because I like to have my guests introduce themselves.


[00:03:20] So this is what I'd like you to do is not because I didn't do research on it. It's because no, I can read your accolades and that's not going to mean anything to my audience. Because that doesn't tell him who you are. And that's what I'd like you to do right now is just introduce yourself and tell them who's MTR is and why you're on the show today?


(Sam's Book)

[00:03:40]Sam Thiara: [00:03:40] No. And to your point and you actually spot on, on that part of what I always talk about is it's very easy to share what somebody does. I want to know who people are. And if I had to describe myself to you, I would say that there were five things that guide and direct me in life. Servant leadership, story, sharing, activator, igniter, champion, enabler, and community, do a gooder.


[00:04:07] As a result of those five things, it's enabled me to help individuals, teams, organizations, educational institutions, and nonprofits to really maximize. But those five things have actually also enabled me to be a speaker and a storyteller, a mentor, and a coach, a writer, author blogger, an educator, an entrepreneur, a problem solver, and a community activator.


[00:04:35] I think that to your point, when we talk about who we are, it really has provided me the clarity that's enabled me to then see my journey where it's taken me to where I am today. But then how can I support other people in their journey as well?


[00:04:52] David Dowlen: [00:04:52] All right. That is actually the most prepared to answer I've ever had for that there's people I'm like, Hey, I can read off all your stuff, but who are you?

[00:05:01] They're like who am I? That's a deep question. Yeah, but that one, I was hoping you already knew. I didn't have to think about too much. I like that. Thank you. I am overwhelmed. Since I started a podcast. Yeah. I'm very blessed to have talked to some incredible people. And in that I read a lot of success stories and accolades and stuff like that.


[00:05:21] And it's like, yeah, but that doesn't really tell people who this is. And I also am a hiring manager. And so I look at a lot of resumes. It's eh, okay, sure. I'll interview you. But that's where I want to ask you. Yeah, I've read your, I read your resume now. Let's find out who you actually are.


[00:05:38] Are you going to fit with my team? This matters to me. So thank you for that answer. So what is something absurd or strange that you love to do? For example, I eat sandwiches and burgers in the round. Like it's almost kept Paul shin. I don't know why I do it, but I don't just eat a burger. Like I eat all the way around and work my way towards the middle, like a cinnamon roll.


[00:06:01]What is something absurd or strange that you love to do?


[00:06:04] Sam Thiara: [00:06:04] Actually, for 11 years, I played in an Irish military pipe band and I'm not Irish, but I was a drummer and actually even being a drummer in the pipe band, it was never about necessarily the drumming as a tenor drummer. We're all about the flare.

[00:06:20] And I guess that's very respective and reflective of my life is when you see a pipe band go by and you see the twirling of the stage. That's what I got to do. And, but here's the thing. I never had any experience in drumming prior to joining the pipe band and for 11 years there was actually a really good conversation I had with my pipe major, who was my best friend.


[00:06:42] He said the drumming, we can teach you commitment. I can't teach you now, if you're really wanting to be a part of this. We'll work with you and, we'll get your kid out and everything in that regard, but the commitment is really what I'm looking for and he's my best friend. And literally we've traveled to certain places together just to be in his presence.

[00:07:05] I was like, perfect. I'm committed to this and I'll be a part of this, but yeah, no, people think it's strange that somebody who's of an Indian descent plays in the military pipe band, and that was a number of years ago. And there were times where I'd be, like I said, wearing the kilt and the uniform and all of the regalia that goes with a military outfit and my corporal stripes and people would look at me going you're not Irish.


[00:07:28] And I said, no, I'm not, but that's okay. I can still hold the beat.


[00:07:34] David Dowlen: [00:07:34] I love it. I love it. I have a great t-shirt actually sell on my website for St Patty's day and says today they were all Irish.


[00:07:41]Sam Thiara: [00:07:41] And here's the thing I used to always joke around and said that when we played and because we're Irish, we used to do 13, 14 performances in two and a half 33 days.


[00:07:52] Never had to buy a round. And what was also really interesting is I always used to say, after a few pints, we sound good. After a few more times, we actually look good too.


[00:08:05] David Dowlen: [00:08:05] After a few more, you don't care if you sound good.


[00:08:07] Sam Thiara: [00:08:07] Oh yeah.


[00:08:10] David Dowlen: [00:08:10] Oh, my goodness. Thank you. That's awesome. So you were recognized by the Canadian government for your work in mentorship.


[00:08:18] Why is being a mentor so important?


[00:08:23] Sam Thiara: [00:08:23] I think there, we have a responsibility. I think as we go through life, we are given experiences. We are given our challenges and obstacles and instead of holding onto it, I think there's a need to share. And even in my own journey, there was nobody there to guidance support me.


[00:08:44] I had to literally fumble around in the dark to try to figure out the journey and I can go into my journey and how that relates to why I got into mentorship. But I think we've all got these opportunities. And one of my favorite quotes that I live by is obstacles are the necessary. On our road to success.


[00:09:09] In other words, don't fear the obstacles embrace them, but learn from them and incorporate that into your life so that you then have experienced it and, become a guide for someone else so that they don't encounter as much difficulty because you've been there in blazed a trail. But again, if you're interested in that journey, because it was an interesting journey to get me where I am today, but it was full of obstacles, but again, they weren't necessary.


[00:09:38] Yeah. Happy


[00:09:39] David Dowlen: [00:09:39] to do it. Hey, I really want to focus on mentorship because finding someone who actually has the experience in that and can convey, I don't think most people understand the concept of mentorship. In fact, that's my next question. So this is going to lead into a nicely, I don't think everybody.


[00:09:57] It's not a term that gets used a lot, unless you're in certain trades are in some religious beliefs, but it's not a term that gets used a lot. I don't think a lot of people understand what we're talking about necessarily much less having somebody who can convey that to their audience. So can you go ahead and define mentorship for clarity and what we're talking about for people?


[00:10:19] I want to make sure everybody understands this concept of mentorship and what we're talking about.


[00:10:24] Sam Thiara: [00:10:24] Sure. And I know that you want to stay on the topic of mentorship, but what I'll do is I'll talk about coaching and mentorship and how they are different. Because again, I think that there's overlap here.


[00:10:36] Coaching is a very inquiry process. Mentorship is a guiding process. I always say that when I'm mentoring or coaching they're interchangeable. If somebody is unclear of the pathway and the journey. They, I go into more of a questioning mode and it becomes coaching. Once we've established a bit of a foundation of who they are, the journey that they need to go on, the things that now they are seeking.


[00:11:04] We now go into a guiding process and that becomes mentorship. So think of mentorship as a walking, along with someone and there's a trail, but you're showing people this trail. Because you've walked at yourself. Where does this trail lead to? What might the person gain from this trail? Why are we walking together on this trail?


[00:11:27] And mentorship is this idea that we all have something to contribute. There's times where I'm talking to a first year university student. And I asked them and I said, are you prepared to mentor someone right now? And they're like, of course not, I need a mentor, somebody who's going to guide me.


[00:11:45] And I said okay. But if a high school student came to university today, could you guide them and show them how to integrate into the university and how to absorb themselves in and be successful. And they're like, yeah, of course. I said, great, you're ready to mentor. To capture it. As I mentioned is you're a guide and a support person for an individual and taking them on a journey.


[00:12:13] But what you have to be careful about is you are not there to have them become you. And I think that's an important part because I think sometimes the mentor goes in with thoughts and ideas of what they want, the mentee and the mentee as the person you're guiding what the what's important for them.


[00:12:32] Mentorship involves a lot of active listening and conversation, and really trying to understand how you can support a person's journey. I hope that's done justice.


[00:12:44] David Dowlen: [00:12:44] No, I think that's actually a really spectacular definition of mentorship. Like I said, it's just not a term people use very often anymore are understand very clearly.


[00:12:54] Now what I don't necessarily want to go too deep necessarily. That it sidetracks us too far. What got you into mentoring?


[00:13:07]Sam Thiara: [00:13:07] What got me into mentoring is this actually, it turned out that I had all these experiences. Some of them were successes. Some of them were setbacks, and I started telling stories or sharing experiences with people.


[00:13:22] We get into a conversation and all of a sudden people are like Oh, that's interesting. Or they were picking up lessons that I was sharing with them. So as a result of that, that's where I found that I needed to then go into the sharing mode and help people in their journey. And I think what was the most important part in all of this was it wasn't telling I wasn't telling people what to do.


[00:13:52] What I was doing was listening to them. And in that listening aspect, all of a sudden I was bringing in thoughts and ideas, have you thought of this, or I should connect you to this person, or here's some resources that are available and providing them tools for their own personal and professional development.


[00:14:13] But it was because I found that I started becoming a resource and working at the university. In, it's been there about 17 years. What happened is I went into the, to the university and the role that they gave me was student engagement. They said, students are coming to school, but they're going home, engage them.


[00:14:35] So I started engaging them, but the more I was engaging them, the more they started showing up at my door, the more they started having questions about the journey ahead. And the, and for me, it was more of being present, listening to them. Not imposing, but they w they were then, and they're still continually approaching me five years, 10 years, 15 years out.


[00:15:01] We're still having conversations and they still see me as a guide or a mentor. So it all became because of the experiences that I had captured. And I think for your listeners, this is an important part is we go through life and we have these experiences, but we never captured. But once you start capturing them and holding onto them, these become ingrained as your story, your journey.


[00:15:27] And now all of a sudden you've got more insights that you're able to share with people.


[00:15:33] David Dowlen: [00:15:33] Wow. So built upon your experiences and your relationships, man, real people out here. Value. Yeah. The effect they have on people and just the day-to-day re relationships. You affect so many people around you without ever even realizing the extent sometimes say in the conversation you guys, if you're getting something out of this, be sure to hit the like button wherever you are, guys, share this with your friends, we're going to roll.


[00:16:00] To our sponsor and we'll be right back. Okay.


[00:16:02]Guys, and welcome back. We are having an incredible conversation with speaker, author, teacher, a mentor, discussing mentorship with Sam Tiara. Guys, if you miss the first half of the conversation, we're getting to know us. Be sure to go back and catch that part. And if you're enjoying the show, consider heading over to our Patrion and becoming a supporter, my patrons have direct input on the kind of content we create, who we talk to, the topics we cover and you can support us there and have input on the show.


[00:16:31] Sam we're getting into it. And I think we're barely scratching the surface. That is the other headache is long form. Content is not as loved as it should be, but I always feel like I just scratched the surface enough to hopefully get some people to dig a little deeper. Sure. Do you believe that men that is part of our role that we should be mentoring people?


[00:16:55] Sam Thiara: [00:16:55] Oh, absolutely. The experiences that we've got you're able to provide someone insight. In a direction that they may be going and you actually never realize the impact that you could potentially have on someone just by being present. If an individual doesn't have a role model or someone that they could look up to, then it may guide them in a pathway or direction that may not be the best suited for them.


[00:17:22] But by being the role model means being present for that person. And not just once. Being present over a period of time that presence suddenly becomes active and supportive and guiding, and it helps that person in their journey. And you never know where that journey will lead without you being present.


[00:17:43] Where would they be with you being present? Where would they be? I think that's an important spectrum to really appreciate and understand


[00:17:53] David Dowlen: [00:17:53] in the last year. Pick a purchase under a hundred dollars or less, that has been the most impacted on your life this year.



[00:18:02] Sam Thiara: [00:18:02] Okay. It would have to be a book and the book is every conversation counts by a dear friend of mine Riaz Meghji, and it really spoke to this aspect of the art of conversation and.


[00:18:18] How important that is from a mentoring standpoint, that conversation is critical.


[00:18:23] David Dowlen: [00:18:23] Okay. Say the book title one more time.


[00:18:26] Sam Thiara: [00:18:26] Every conversation counts by Riaz Meghji, but every conversation counts as the title.


[00:18:32] David Dowlen: [00:18:32] All right. And guys, Hey, you know what, we're going to put a link to that in the show notes, just because Sam says it was that important of a book for him this year.


[00:18:40] And so maybe you should check it out. Sam in YouTube. We have something that people refer to as imposter syndrome and I'm of the opinion that exists in other places too, because I've experienced something similar in other portions of my life. And it's when people believe of themselves, they have nothing to offer anyone because they're just, they're not them.


[00:19:03]Harry Potter said it best, but I can't be a wizard. I'm just Harry. So they struggled to make videos and they struggle to share their experiences or their knowledge because they just think what I have to offer. Now, there are a lot of people who struggle with the idea of more mentorship in the same way.


[00:19:22] They're like wait, who am, I suppose I don't have anything I can teach or guide somebody in. Who am I, how would you address that as a mentor?


[00:19:31] Sam Thiara: [00:19:31] I think that as a mentor, you need to do self-reflection self-interest. Because again, I believe that we go down life in autopilot and we go in a certain direction.


[00:19:43] We don't realize the things that we've accumulated or, that we've gained as a result of this. And it could be through lessons learned. It could be through things that have happened that we've learned from any number of things. So first and foremost, I think the mentor has to have a comfortable and solid base, which means you need to start looking at who you are as an individual.


[00:20:07] And what's interesting is people it's easy for them to tell me why they, what they lack or why they may not be the right person so they can tell me why they lack it. But I always say no, but tell me about what are you good at? What resonates with you? What is it that makes you tick, makes resonate and be profound in what you do?


[00:20:29] Everybody's good at something. So let's start talking about that conversation, but let's dig deeper as a mentor to give you the tools. Tell me about you as an individual. And that's where we need to go into details about it. When I talk to the person who wants to be a mentor, then it's more okay, what is it that you have that you are able to share and you start on covering it.


[00:20:52] And they're like, and I asked them those questions, tell me about a time, much like an interview. Tell me about a time when, you had to work in a difficult situation and how did you resolve it? Tell me about a time when you had a team member. And they start giving me ideas. I said, perfect.


[00:21:06] Capture this, capture it. Let's start writing these things down. And I love how you're smiling there are going like, yeah, these are the questions you wind up asking.


[00:21:14] David Dowlen: [00:21:14] I hate these questions in interviews.


[00:21:16] Sam Thiara: [00:21:16] Oh no, that's me. And that's why I use servant leadership. As one of my key elements is rolling up the sleeves to support, to help others in their journey.

[00:21:25] It really is activating that their voice. I always say, what's your voice? What is it that makes you who you are? Because once we have established that as the ground force, now you're able to go support and help other people because you've got that capability and capacity, but we need to extract that first because a lot of people in the journey that I've had and with these individuals, yeah.


[00:21:49] They're oftentimes they can tell me what they don't have, but let's talk about what you're really good.


[00:21:54] David Dowlen: [00:21:54] And here is the question of the day, because question on the show, I haven't quite nailed that title down question on the show question of the day. Have you ever been part of a mentor program as a mentor or mentee?


[00:22:09] I'm not sure I spelled that. Right. And what was your experience with that guys share in the comments. If you're watching on YouTube are, what, send me an email. If you're not watching on YouTube, if you're listening to the podcast, think about it. Send me an email, an email@infoatthefallibleman.com.


[00:22:25] And I would love to hear about your experience. I think mentorship is incredibly important, but this is a community. So be sure and share guys. We support each other with our experiences. So moving forward. So can you explain, so coaching is a hot word, right? All you gotta do is look online. You can find a bazillion online coaches, which to me is still, it's just a funny idea.


[00:22:51]I'm just old enough that seems like an oddity to me, the idea of online coaching, but can you explain the difference between coaching since it's such a popular word right now and mentoring and just giving somebody advice, would you break that down for us?


[00:23:08] Sam Thiara: [00:23:08] Sure. And I agree, like I think coaching that there it's, it can be a bit loose.