Finding Mentors After Graduation: Pat Kilner on Find Your Six

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The Art of Teaching: A Conference for Teaching Men


November 9-11 • The Heights School, Potomac, MD

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Mr. Patrick Kilner ’97, a graduate of The Heights, former Heights teacher, Heights dad, and now Chairman of the Board of Directors to discusses his new book, Find Your Six: Stop Lead Generating and Start Building Influence. Whether you are in college or high school, a young professional or a seasoned veteran, this week’s conversation centers on something that is crucial for everyone: mentorship.

This mentorship is something that we sometimes take for granted as Heights students, but what happens after The Heights, when your mentor is no longer hunting you down after 3rd period for a check in? How do you find good counsel then, on foreign turf and starting from ground zero?

Drawing on both his personal experience and formal research for the book, Pat encourages us to find and foster relationships with influencers–who are, implicitly, great mentors who do more than anything else to help one find success both in professional and personal life. To this end, Pat offers advice to college students and young professionals about how to find possible mentors, secure meetings, and approach that first conversation with sincere curiosity and a desire to learn from the wisdom that the other has to offer.

Pat shares that these relationships should grow into life-long friendships of mutual benefit. The aim is not to pull mere facts and data points, as one does from google, but to develop an authentic relationship with someone who is a living source of wisdom and to whom one can turn throughout the course of his life. Moreover, once we have benefitted from this wisdom, it’s our turn to pass it on. Way leads on to way and the tradition continues.

Show Highlights

  • The importance of mentoring both at the Heights and beyond
  • Is it necessary to be excited about what you are doing on a daily basis?
  • Why treating people as commodities is not only bad ethics, but also bad business
  • How to find mentors and influencers
  • Three characteristics to look for in a mentor: longevity, implicit trust, ownership mentality
  • What is needed in a mentor is wisdom, not mere data points
  • Reframing the college years: what would look like if by the end of college, you had acquired 4-6 deep mentorship relationships?
  • What are good ways for college students to find mentors?
  • How mentors can help you find mentors in new places.
  • Why students should ask their professors out to lunch or coffee
  • What is means to form your own “personal board of directors”
  • How to find mentors, even if you are unsure of your professional path
  • Why parents ought to let their children take ownership of their school work early on
  • How to approach the art of the meeting
  • What can parents get from the book?
  • How do influencers and mentors relate to vocation?

Recommended Reading

Find Your Six: Stop Lead Generating and Start Building Influence 

Also on The Forum

Mentor’s Compass

Why Boys Need Mentors

The Odyssey, Mentors, and Humanitas

How to Guide Conversations with a Mentee

Pat Kilner

About the guest:

Pat Kilner


Pat Kilner has created and led three companies: two in the real estate space and one in the training world. He’s currently the CEO of the Kilner Companies which includes The Kilner & Kirk Group, The Indispensable Agent, and Tower Hill Enterprises. Pat is also the co-founder of the DC Accelerator, a young professional development non-profit. Pat serves on the boards of primary education initiatives and donates time to develop strategic plans for inner-city non-profits at the service of youth in the DC metro area. His companies support the special needs community in the DC areas as well as in Jamaica. He studied business and philosophy at The Catholic University of America and taught and studied economics at the Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, where he achieved a Master’s degree. Pat lives in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC with his wife, Elena, and their children.