How Reverse Mentors Can Turn Obstacles into Opportunities

Jack Uldrich
2 min readFeb 24, 2021


I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The city is blessed with a number of lakes and one of the best park systems in the world. As such, I frequently choose to walk into my office. Today, I strolled through an area known as “The Bird Sanctuary” and observed two red-headed pileated woodpeckers. The scene inspired a poem. It was a middling attempt to see a matter — in this case, life and death — from a different perspective

As I came out of the reserve, I stumbled upon something far more enlightening — a group of very young children running through a sizeable puddle. What I had viewed as an annoying obstacle, they saw as an alluring opportunity. It inspired me to craft what I consider to be a slightly better poem called, “The Muddle-Aged Mind.”

I share it with you because in my new business book, Business as Unusual: A Futurist’s Unconventional, Unorthodox, and Uncomfortable Guide to Doing Business, I discuss a number of techniques to help business leaders see the world from a different perspective.

Two of my preferred strategies include adopting a “beginner’s mind” and getting a reverse mentor. Today, I was reverse mentored by a group of tiny teachers who reminded me not only how to see the world from a different perspective, but how to turn an obstacle into an opportunity.

P.S. If you want 15 seconds of Zen-like joy, the video of my delightful encounter with my small teachers can be seen here:

Jack Uldrich is an author, poet, and seeker. His latest book is Business as Unusual: A Futurist’s Unorthodox, Unconventional, and Uncomfortable Guide to Doing Business (River Grove, 2020). A few of his other Medium articles include One Simple Life Hack to Jumpstart Your Life, The Key to Unlocking Your Soul, What Does It Mean to Be a Hero, and The Key to Life in 26 Seconds.