Do you have a mentor?

I wanted to send a post out about mentoring and the importance of being mentored.

Mentoring is a developmental partnership through which one person shares knowledge, skills, information and perspective to foster the personal and professional growth of someone else. We all have a need for insight that is outside of our normal life and educational experience. The power of mentoring is that it creates a one-of-a-kind opportunity for collaboration, goal achievement and problem-solving.

A mentor can also be called any of the following

  1. Teacher
  2. Problem solver
  3. Motivator
  4. Coach
  5. Guide

A "Mentee" is an achiever, ”groomed” for advancement by being provided opportunities to excel beyond the limits of his or her position. A good mentee will posses certain qualities that will help them gain ground in their career quicker than the competition, those qualities are as follows. 

  1. Learner – has strong desire to learn new skills and abilities.
  2. Decision maker –takes charge of their education.
  3. Initiator - is willing to explore challenges on their own initiative.
  4. Risk taker –“If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate,” quote by Thomas Watson, Sr., founder of IBM.
  5. Goal setter –if you know where you are going, people are willing to help guide you.

 If you look above you will see that the mentee has the distinction of being the Initiator.  As the initiator it is your responsibility to create the culture for you to be mentored.  Quite often the mentee believes that it is up to their boss to create the opportunities for them.  

I am going to propose that you as the decision maker, initiator and risk taker go out and find your mentor.  It could be your current leader, a leader in an alternate role, someone who has already done what you are trying to do.  

  Problems that I have seen with those trying to get promoted.

  1. No raving fan or fans that are talking about you constantly.  There better be more people talking about you than you.
  2. Employees get overly concerned with how problems or promotions are affecting them, instead of how the problem or issue is affecting their team or their company.  
  3. Learning how to sell yourself, part of being promoted is being able to let those know what you are doing and accomplishing without being a braggart.
  4. Establishing networks with your mentor/mentors and their peers and have them talking about your achievements along with you.  
  5. When a position is posted… if that is the first time you begin to think about being promoted.  You probably will not be getting the position.  The time to think about being promoted is now! Well before the position ever opens up.  Finding a mentor and planning out a course of action that is going to get you to the position you want. 

Being able to find a mentor and managing that relationship is one of the hidden nuggets that keeps people from advancing their careers. 

 If you’re not willing to go out and find a mentor you may want to prepare for a long stay in your position.  This is not something I can make you do, you will either do it or you won’t. 

You will either have a real shot at the next promotion by getting with a good mentor....Or you can sit in the cubicle and wait for the years to pass.  You can check off all the online classes you have taken and try to  present that to your interviewer. 

If that interview is with me how is that going to work out for you.