the guidance provided by a mentor, especially an experienced person in a company or educational institution.
Mentorship. A word thrown around in the personal and professional growth and development world and leaving some confused on how to approach it. You know that you need one, but what does that look like? What does a mentor do? How do you find a mentor? Should I be a mentor to others? Why is mentorship so important? Questions that the simple, dictionary definition above doesn’t even scrape the surface of.
Mentorship is such a large topic that we are going to break it down into smaller, easily chewable bites for you. At the end of this Mentorship Blog series, you will have a better understanding of mentorship and how you can make it the most effective for you.
Mentorship means different things to different people. In our Connections Community (Our VIP Membership Portal) we asked our members “What does Mentorship mean to you?” Here are some of the responses we received;
“Someone who has experiences or knowledge in an area I want to grow or someone who is further along in the same process as I’m entering”
“Someone who is very different than I am that I want to have challenge me and help me see areas I need to learn and grow in”
“Someone who shows they are committed to me and my growth as much as I am, and doesn’t quit on me when it’s all too tempting to quit on myself.”
“Someone who’s not quite where I want to be but further along the path than I am, and has similar values/goals/priorities yet a different perspective/lens… and vice versa.”
Mentorship could mean; A person you look up to that you (may or may not have met), and follow their teachings, way of life/business and study their work.
Mentorship could mean; A person whom you’ve hired to help walk you through your journey of betterment.
Mentorship has been romanticized as this “you’ve made it when” thing. When in fact, it’s not a perfect journey or road. It can take some time and it can be frustrating. It can also be really amazing and the journey to finding mentorship is always worthwhile.
The beautiful thing I have found about mentorship, is that it is a fluid, revolving role in my life. I have had a few different people in my life that I would call mentors. There have been business coaches that I have hired and there have been mentors that I have never met. Both have served my mission and growth incredibly well. Once I got rid of the notion that there was this perfect way to achieve being mentored or that some divine intervention was going to take place to show me the way, I was able to allow myself to hear what I needed then seek out accordingly.
While we will be going through the steps myself, and others have taken to find their mentor, let’s back up to the why… Why do we need mentors in the first place?
Mentors challenge us
Mentors teach us
Mentors unlock our bigger potential
- Two of the biggest killers of business, momentum and growth are complacency and comfortability. Having a mentor behind you can nudge you forward in ways that you may not otherwise do on your own. Mentors can simply see a perspective we cannot see. They are outside of our challenges (and headspace) and can provide clarity and a necessary angle to approach a problem, to rethink a strategy and to insert wisdom. Mentors challenge us in ways that are vital to our growth and success.
- Google can take us a loooooong way in business (this was my saving grace as a first time CEO at 30 years old) but can only take us so far. Mentors have been there before us. They have insights and intellect There are many teaching moments available in our lives, but do we stop long enough to learn from them? Mentors help provide insights into the path we are walking on and what we are experiencing so that we clearly see those teaching moments and don’t let them pass us by. Mentors teach us when we cannot teach ourselves.
- When we can learn from our active path and be challenged to go above our perceived limits, it unlocks our bigger potential. We can hit a new stride we didn’t know was in us, we can accomplish new things we didn’t know how to do before, and we do it all with confidence knowing that we have someone on our side, looking out for us. Someone who has gone before us and can help guide the way. Mentors can unlock something bigger within us that our friends, family and significant others cannot.
Why do you choose to have a mentor? What challenges, teaching moments, and growth have you experienced with a mentor by your side?