The right mentor relationships will accelerate your career, personal development and improve relationships. Investing time finding the best mentor saves you time and increases your focus.
In Greek mythology, Mentor, was the son of Alcumus and friend of Odysseus. When Odysseus left for the Trojan War he left Mentor in charge of his son Telemachus. When Athena visited she took the disguise of Mentor to hide herself from suitors. As Mentor, she encouraged Telmachus to stand up to the suitors and go abroad to find his father. Athena was a smart chick and great mentor.
Mentoring is different to coaching; a mentor is someone who shares their experience, the good, the bad and the ugly! I like that mentoring is more prescriptive, focused and direct. A coach is someone who you are in agreement with that asks you great questions to help you discover the answers. Both are vital in business.
Mentors share wisdom to save you time, energy and focus your attention on the best way to navigate a project, your career and relationships. I give credit to my mentors for an accelerated corporate career and building an entrepreneurial business. Mentors don’t need to be older than you, or higher positions than you – mentors can be work colleagues, industry professionals, friends, family, or community leaders.
Get focused on finding and partnering with a great mentor.
Determine your focus – do you want help in your personal or business life? Once you are clear, you can find an expert in that area. Some mentoring may be informal and free, other times you may need to invest in your development.
Investigate top performers – for career mentors ask for recommendations. I was fortunate early in my speaking career to be mentored by one of the world’s best speakers, Matt Church. His guidance saved me many years growing my skills and business in the industry.
Explore official mentoring programs – many organizations offer programs. If your Credit Union doesn’t have one, could you start one? When we work with leaders in our 90-day mentoring program we develop an accountability plan with each person focusing on areas including productivity, communications and presentation skills. Some mentees claim productivity increases of 50%, others have doubled their teams, some received promotions one expanded her company opening multiple offices – you can check it out here.
Choose wisely– find the person you believe would be suitable; spend time watching them in action. Ask to attend a presentation with them or spend a “day in the life of” them and watch what they do. Observe them at industry events, conferences, or your association to observe how they interact, get to know them before approaching them to work with you.
Perform due diligence – when you have chosen a mentor, ask about their results working with others, beliefs, values and way of operating. This gives you insight before a mentoring relationship.
Approach gracefully – phone, email or make an appointment to meet them. Share why you want to meet, this shows you respect time and are committed to your development. Be prepared for them to say no if its not a commercial relationship. Many successful leaders have full calendars and may not have capacity for investing time with you.
Set up an agreement – when you proceed with a mentor, create guidelines for timeframe, contact frequency and develop an accountability plan for your time together.
Fulfil mentee commitments – always be prepared, complete assignments given to you from your mentor and look for opportunities to support and promote your mentor to others.
A good mentor will change your life and increase your productivity, help you achieve your goals faster and accelerate your potential – find your fabulous mentor today!
If we can help you check out our mentoring program – click here.