I learned recently that someone who had been a long-time mentor to me in my many years in the business had recently retired. It got me thinking that I probably never really shared with him how much I appreciated all that he had done to contribute to my success over the years. A good mentor is a gift from the Universe. If you find one, do everything you can to convince them that it is worth their while to mentor you.
Mentors can inspire you and hold you accountable. And on the other side of the table, it’s wonderful to have “mentees” who are enthusiastic about learning and can become like your extended family.
So this article entitled “Everyone Has a Teacher Or Leader Who Truly Inspired Them” by Ron Thomas that appeared recently in ERE Media really struck a chord with me. Think about your work and personal life. I’ll bet that it is full of people who have a big impact on you too. And in the workplace, a good mentor can help boost morale, increase job satisfaction, and drive company loyalty.
A good mentor goes beyond to change his or her agenda and strive to make you a better YOU. Such a mentor is committed to your growth journey through the ups and downs you experience, and entering and navigating you out of your “comfort zone” to make something extraordinary happen. Perhaps the greatest legacy we can leave is to be this kind of leader/mentor/teacher/coach to others.
When I facilitate my leadership development course, one of the exercises we work through is about people that have made a difference in our lives.
The question is: Think back through your life and think of the one person who truly made a difference. For the most part, the answer comes back to a particular teacher, parent, or manager early in a person’s career.
One of the interview techniques that I use to try and get a sense of how well a manager connects with his or her people is to review past jobs and ask them how many of these people at that point in their lives they still keep in touch with.