Archive for the ‘Business & Economics’ Category


June 16, 2013

5 Fs

I enjoy mentoring. It’s interesting, it’s satisfying and, in the end, you always learn more than you give.

Mentoring comes in three stripes, aimed at (1) improving skills (2) accelerating career and (3) coaching through life. The last one’s the hardest but holds the greatest rewards for the mentor and the mentee.

In the early nineties, I developed a framework to help me think through what I wanted to do with my life. That early framework evolved into something I now call the Five Fs framework. I’ve used this on myself for close to 20 years now and I have gone through the exercise every year. I started sharing this model with others about a decade ago.

The 5 F framework is simple. It’s a tool that provides a structured way to think about one’s life and future. It can be modified, extended and adjusted to suit the person who uses it. It can be useful to do by oneself or with some or all of the family. You get what you put into it.

One example of how it’s been used is provided by a friend and co-worker at Microsoft – Jeff Sandquist.

Just this past week, we had a discussion at indix, my startup, about mentoring. And I had a discussion about the 5 Fs with one mentee. I figured it was time to put together a nice and easy way to describe and share the framework. So here it is – The Five Fs.