From the article ‘who really needs a mentor’, you may agree that getting a mentor is no more the case of if, rather, a matter of when. One of the questions you may have considered could be, which type of mentor do I really need? And do I need a mentor now?
25 percent of the young people we asked in a June 2020 survey, living in Africa said, they had never had a mentor. If these young people value mentoring, and this demand exists, it may be reasonable to suggest that available mentors can help these young people develop.
Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
This assertion demonstrates the value mentors can add to the development of future innovators, leaders and experts. The case for the need to get a mentor should move from the perspective that suggests it is an ideal for the privileged to, it is a gap in our succession planning that must be fixed. Because of the precarious nature of society and the economy and their interrelatedness, there is a now a greater sense of urgency regarding the need for mentors today.
Qualities of a good mentor
Before you commit to a mentoring relationship, you may want to check to see if your mentor has some, most or all of the following qualities:
- Relevant Expertise or Knowledge
- Enthusiasm for Sharing that Experience
- A Respectful Attitude
- Eagerness to Invest in Others
- The Ability to Give Honest and Direct Feedback
- Reflective Listening and Empathy
- Willingness to Be a Sponsor
The last point from the qualities of a good mentor, recommends ‘willingness to be a sponsor’. This has been an argument made by quite a few speakers and authors. In her book titled – Forget a mentor, find a sponsor: a new way to fast-track your career, Sylvia Ann Hewlett makes a case for having a sponsor and not just a mentor.
Reasons why you need a mentor
Some of the reasons why you need a mentor are:
- Mentors coach: they coach and prepare you for change
- Mentors motivate: they fine tune and transform your vision
- Mentors challenge: they push you to go farther
- Mentors protect: they protect you from missteps
- Mentors advice: they share life lessons
From the link above, you can quite easily get more information on the five reasons listed.
Some of the things a mentor can offer you
It is perhaps reasonable to consider some of the offerings you can get from a mentor, here are at least five things they can do for you especially if you are dealing with a business start-up mentor:
- Knowledge: they simply know things that you don’t (yet)
- Execution: turn your ideas into action
- Growth: learn to actually build your business
- Trust: knowledge that comes from experience
- Truth: you have got enough supporters
Finding a mentor
“Find someone fabulous and make it your mission to make them your mentor,” says Kirstie Mackey. “Try someone from a similar background and whose life you think you might want in five years.”
Generally, people say find a mentor and leave it there because it is your responsibility to do so. But when it comes to the real business of finding one, it is not as easy as it sounds.
There will always be people who can offer you valuable advice and guidance in different areas of your life, and at different stages of your career – but the key and the challenge is to find them and of course to ask them. Since, this may be tricky to navigate, does this mean you give up, absolutely not.
Mentors have busy schedules and their time is of high value. This means you may have to negotiate their availability, which is likely to be difficult, thereby leading to some sort of scarcity. In essence, if free mentorship is hard to come by, you may want to consider programmes or businesses that offer mentoring at reasonable costs. There is the possibility that you may get sponsored by a corporate organisation that understands the value of mentoring outcomes. Whichever works out for you, Glocal Networks is a community of professionals that are mentoring the next generation and you can join for FREE.
D. Oladejo CEnv