Today I enjoyed a beautiful lunch of salmon and salad prepared by a very good friend. Right beside my plate was a newsletter about an entrepreneur group from Ivey that she thought would be relevant to my business development.  As lunch progressed, she remembered another article she wanted me to have and ran to get this morning’s Globe and Mail from her recycling bin. Interestingly, the article is called “More than a mentor or a pal: a hearth friend“. I don’t find the term–hearth friend– to be particularly resonant but I do believe in the practice and value of it.

Read the whole Globe  article and you’ll understand that a hearth friend is someone who has your back:

  • who is willing to stick their neck out and help you win that big account to blow your revenue targets away (without taking credit for themselves)
  • who will tell you when you are a being an egotistical ass to your employees
  • who will ask you the hard questions that no one else dares about where you plan to take your business/ your life
  • who will listen to your fears and your desires and help you hear them too

Read the whole article and you’ll get a sense of the value and the risk of such a friend. Like any human relationship, the dynamic shifts over time, intentions and impact are not always clear and expectations can lead to disappointment. 

On the upside, career intelligence expert Barbara Moses, claims this  “very important type of relationship has the power to shape the course of a person’s career and life”.  Moses doesn’t give advice on how to find a hearth friend. My sense is that becoming one for someone you care about is the best way to put the concept into action. Of course, like any friendship, the relationship develops in stages and cannot be contrived.   

So given the choice to have a hearth friend or not, I raise my hand to say “yes, please” and I know from experience that providing this type of friendship can have tremendous rewards too.  And I smile that my friend gave me this article today. In doing so, she had my back.  It feels good!

1 Comment

  1. tanyablog on April 30, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    I’m with you that “hearth” doesn’t seem resonant…perhaps YOU should coin a new term, given that this sounds like the optimal fusion of being a fantastic coach (though perhaps a coach wouldn’t TELL you you’re being an ass, but a good one would halp you figure it out and PDQ) and a true friend. And you, Lisa, are both.

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