What or who exactly is a mentor? Webster’s Dictionary defines the term simply as:
“A trusted counselor or guide”.
Depending upon the context to which the relationship is bonded, this question can be answered in a number of ways by those who see this role through various ideals. A mentor can be your parents, who teach you how to be responsible and productive citizens in the world; a mentor can be a co-worker who helps you to hone your on the job skills so that you reach higher peaks in your career; a mentor can be a pastor, a school teacher, a sibling or a friend. Whatever the relationship between the mentee and the mentor, it is always one full of life- long lessons learned, respect, and admiration not only for the mentor, but also for the student who has been shaped and molded into a new person.
A mentor takes a raw mass of a human being, and strategically adds those little building blocks of character into this ever-evolving, newly transformed person. The mentor serves as the subsequent role model in lieu of a parent, a supervisor, or person of authority. They help the student to explore their skills and introduces them to new places, people, and ideas.
The job of a mentor isn’t an easy one. A real mentor, who is someone who wants their student to succeed in every facet of life, is a person who accepts the capacity in which they serve and takes responsibility for leading their student in the right direction. A mentor:
- Inspires you in bad times
- Develops the self-confidence needed for growth
- Shares your values and ideas
- Guides you with mutual trust and understanding
- Helps you design clear and realistic goals
- Shares your dreams and enlarges your vision
- Encourages responsible behavior
- Believes in you
- Motivates, encourages, and advises you to succeed
- Helps you expand your horizons
- Assists you during a crisis or a turning point
- Boosts your self esteem
- Broadens your contacts on campus and in the community
- Supports your career and educational goals
Many studies have shown that the role of mentoring can have a very positive effect on the protégé. For those under the guidance of a mentor, they have found themselves being able to easily attain those in positions that could help their careers in the long run more so than those who do not have a mentor. A mentor helps the student to reach deep down into their mental cortex to find areas in which they may not have found on their own. These unexplored cerebral regions are then accessed and unlocked allowing for the mentor to teach additional skills, expound further on knowledgeable subjects, and create a new found desire to master abilities in specific areas which enhance their prospects for future success.
Although the main focus of the mentor is to be the one doing the teaching, oftentimes the roles can be reversed, and the mentor is the one being taught by the student. This isn’t a bad thing or a drawback though. This can be beneficial to both master and student. In instances such as these, the mentor is able to gain deeper insight into what the student is really trying to accomplish; utilize the student to bounce his/her ideas off of; obtain feedback on cross functional issues; grow their own knowledge base and guidance skills and it also gives them a greater sense of self-satisfaction in being able to give back to someone who truly needed guidance.
All of the aforementioned attributes can describe Les Twins’ mentor, Abibou “Playmo” Kébé. He is the consummate mentor in their eyes and the eyes of many others, not just in the world of dance either. He is self-less, knowledgeable, patient, caring, kind, resourceful, courageous, and generous person. The list of adjectives for this man could go on for days. He isn’t just someone who has helped to refine their skill of dance; he has helped to shape Les Twins into the men that we see in the countless videos, interviews, and workshops interacting with participants and fans. He has helped to humble them. In the amount of time that I have studied, watched, and listened to any and everything Les Twins related, I have not once heard a disparaging word against the man that Laurent and Larry hold in such high regard. That speaks volumes to his character. In this day and age, it is rare that you find truly genuine individuals who care about another’s well being and future as Playmo does for Les Twins.
Laurent has described Playmo as someone who will do everything to make you feel good about your life; someone who is hard to NOT like. The way Laurent describes Playmo makes you want to sit down with him for hours on end and just pick his brain to find out what drives him? What keeps him so focused and positive through his day to day life? The good Lord has placed just a handful of authentic souls here on Earth. Abibou “Playmo” Kébé is definitely one of the special ones.