Thank the Mentors

In my last post I talked about too much and not enough SDL Web knowledge. Several posts ago I once asked who do you trust. This post thanks some of those that encourage community involvement around SDL Web.

I'm seeing a good amount of recent sharing for both technical and business audiences from the following groups. See a mix of content from veteran to new sharers on:
Thanks to JohnNickRyanRobert, and Phillip, a few I know that have encouraged other sharers in the above list. Thanks to those behind-the-scenes that I've yet to meet or miss in this post.

When I asked how others encourage sharing in a recent Skype chat, Robert Stevenson-Leggett shared four points recommendations:
  1. "Don't directly offer incentives, but reward good sharing"
  2. "Compliment good tips and tricks and say stuff like 'that would make a nice post,' etc."
  3. "Don't push too hard"
  4. "Innovation time can be used to create healthy competition to share between peers"
He remarked that this approach "needs to be grassroots though, not top down." Chris Morgan agreed it's about rewarding initiative and we should "nurture not dictate." Pankaj Guar pointed out encouragement throughout an organization helps as well, both from the "top as well as bottom."

Ryan Durkin also pointed out that sharing can be scary. "It's kind of like presenting in front of hundreds of people which a lot of technical people won't do." You need to work with your team to mentor, review, and praise sharing to create momentum. He concluded by saying, "I'm a fan of catching people doing something good rather than catching them doing something bad. You get more out of people that way."

These thoughts match what I've seen personally as well as the science and art behind motivation. See Daniel Pink's Drive for more on motivation or anything by Seth Godin on overcoming that scariness.

I don't have much hesitation now when I blog, but I remember my mix of excitement and fear in this early Tridion post on BluePrinting. Today, I worry more if I'd say something that makes someone else's job harder. It's less about fear and more about respect.

I would also add these four points to the above advice:

  1. Sharing may not change everything overnight, don't worry about your reach at first.
  2. Some posts will help others in small, meaningful ways at the end of a Google search months to years after they're published.
  3. You'll meet and connect with people from all over.
  4. Sharing changes the sharer.
Personally, I've been inspired by at least two phrases from some of my own mentors:
  1. "Share more."
  2. "Don't ever apologize for not being technical," as encouragement to a relatively new Tridionaut who doubted his value to the community.
Did I miss anyone? Leave a comment citing helpful encouragement, inspiration, or challenges from your own mentors (in the Tridion community or elsewhere). Or by Midas Rule, write your own post to thank your mentors.


  1. And also don't apologise for being technical, if that's what you are. There's room for all.

  2. +1, indeed there's room for all and I want more roles active in the community.

    Sometimes the "one offs" need a little encouragement, though. They don't realize what they may have to offer that's different than the technicals.


Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Some HTML allowed including links such as: <a href="link">link text</a>.