Watching Whiplash again reminded me of the power mentors (or more correctly in this case, people who we look up to and whose opinions we cherish) can have over us, driving us to become singularly focused on achieving, thereby impressing them. The merits and demerits of the influence of Fletcher on Andrew may be open to interpretation – the methods certainly are – but the intensity with which that final scene was delivered might make up for every thing.
I have had the blessing of both being helped – and hounded – by workplace mentors. What comes to mind again and again is how the intensity of those formative years have stood me in good stead and influenced my work ethic. Over a decade later, those mentoring relationships have lasted, and when I pop into Houston for work or pass through Lagos (for those still there), meeting up for a drink or a meal is never up for debate. We make it happen.
So for the moral, a useful reminder for me to celebrate the mentors – past and present – in my life.