My friend Mel is a real estate entrepreneur, and part-time Talmudic scholar.
We belong to the same gym & regularly kibitz about all & sundry.
Mel has read my books, and has kindly shared his passion: the wonderful old Hassidic tales.
After reading Andy & Me and The Remedy, Mel had a revelation.
"Andy is a rabbi!"
"I beg your pardon?" I replied.
"Andy is a rabbi," Mel continued, "like in the old Jewish stories!"
On reflection, Mel is right. Sensei-deshi stories are as old as humanity: the old Sufi stories, Krishna & Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita, Virgil & Dante in the Divine Comedy, several Brothers Grimm stories.
Central to each is a dialogue between a seeker, and an elder. Often, both the seeker and elder are damaged. Both grow because of the relationship.
We're hard-wired for stories, and this is one of the oldest. Maybe that's why I found the Andy & Tom story so easy to tell.
It certainly explains why mentorship is so central to the Toyota Production System.
To 'walk the thousand mile path', you need a guide.
And mentorship feels good for both sensei and deshi, because that's how we're wired.