I caught up with a former work colleague/boss for a coffee last week. We hadn’t seen each other for several years and it wasn’t until another person mentioned his name in conversation that I recalled the influence he had had on me as a maturing person in my career. When I returned to my office, I found myself writing about him and the title immediately appeared: Mentor.
Having a Mentor in your Leadership Quest is an absolute must. One day you’ll thank me for suggesting it and harping on the matter. A Mentor is your physical good conscience – advising you on what to do and not do in situations.
Mentors do three
1. Provide advice – given they’ve been there and done that - they know what works and what fails.
2. Listen & Tell – different to coaches, they will listen and then tell you want to do (one of the frustrating things about a good coach – they ask way too many questions!!!!)
3. Learn from you – it’s a two-way street being a Mentor – whilst you’re the Mentee (the person being mentored), they too can be the Mentee in components of the conversation – generally there is an age gap and the ‘wiser’ of the two can learn significantly from the other generation!
And, don’t limit yourself to one Mentor. I recall having a female Mentor when I was trying to crack the glass ceiling. Additionally, support your team by recommending they find a Mentor. I’ve found that appointing a Mentor doesn’t work. Oh, I could go on and on about Mentors!