How to Find and Learn from Mentors
Jules Walter is a heavyweight within the Product Management community. He was the first PM on Slack’s growth team taking Slack from 50M to 5B in revenue and is currently a Product Lead at YouTube. Throughout his career, Jules credits his mentors for much of his career success. In a recent podcast interview, he breaks down how he finds and learns from mentors:
- Finding a mentor. He’ll find a mentor that’s the de facto go to expert in a subject he’s learning about. For example, when he was learning about growth, he knew that Facebook had the best growth team and he reached out to their Head of Growth.
- Small Ask. He’ll then reach out with a small ask: a specific question that can be quickly answered.
- A big mistake that 95% of people make is they make a a big ask. For ex, “I’ve read your blog post on x subject and I’d love for you to be my mentor.”
- Acting on that feedback and reporting back. He’ll implement the feedback or advice, then when he gets results, whether it be good or bad, he’ll report back. Then ask another small ask.
- Rinse and repeat. He then repeats these steps. Eventually he builds enough trust that he can make bigger asks like hopping on calls, etc.