Last week I challenged you to tell me who you changed. We will build on that theme this week by talking about mentoring.
“Mentoring is why you should get up every day – to teach and be taught.”
Dictionary.com defines a Mentor as:
- A wise and trusted counsellor or teacher.
A mentor can be someone who has taken you under their wing at work, or in life, and is willing to share their experiences, and the wisdom gained from the many mistakes that have made. They are willing to listen to you, be present for you and be patient with you. They are someone who is interested in your hopes, dreams and desires and will serve as a sounding board and a guide on your journey to attain those.
“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”
A mentor however, is not necessarily some who is older than you. Two of the most influential mentors in my life are my sons Jesse and Cody. At the time of this post Jesse is 34 and Cody is 32. Both are very successful entrepreneurs and businessmen. They have strengths, talents and experience I do not. They both possess a growth mindset and are continually learning and growing. They both understand the importance of relationships and they are both willing to give me honest feedback and call me out when necessary. Those are all great traits in a mentor.
A mentor can be someone new in your organization who is a generation or two younger than you. They have a lot to teach you, if you are willing to listen and learn. They can teach you about how they like to learn, what is important to them in a workplace, a peer, a boss and a trainer. They can help you learn how best to communicate with them. If you are willing to learn from them, chances are pretty good they will also be willing to learn from you, “to teach and be taught” as John Wooden said.
A mentor does not have to be someone you know personally. It can be someone from history who you admire and seek to emulate. It can be someone whose books you read and whose work, principles and philosophies you have studied and have had a great influence on you, but whom you have never met. I have been greatly influenced by a number of people I have never met, and likely never will meet.
What are you doing to develop the future leaders and trainers in your organization? The way your organization, and our profession will grow is by you becoming intentional about mentoring; teaching and being taught.
What’s Important Now?
- Take time to reflect on the mentors in your life and the important lessons they have taught you.
- Become intentional about mentoring others. You will learn and grow in the process.
Being intentional about mentoring will help you answer the question from last week, “Tell me who you changed?”
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