The Power of a Mentor

What is a Mentor? Well, to get ‘nerdy‘ on ya, a mentor is a wise and trusted counselor or teacher or an influential senior sponsor or supporter, as defined by So what does that mean?!?!? Someone to help coach you, lead you, support you, and be there for you when you have questions or need help.  For my personal mentors, they are also someone who I look up to and would like to mirror a in my own life.  Someone to help me be a better person, both physically and mentally.   Put it this way, I recently started going to the gym……..again. This is not my first time to ‘start to go to a gym.’ Oh no, there have been other times in the past where I got all motivated to go. In the past, I would go to the gym, walk around for a good 5-10 minutes, trying to decide which machine or exercise I wanted to look like an idiot doing.  I would find a machine, do that activity for a bit, then decide to go home. By my 5th trip, I started to phase out… As of late, a friend of mine started going with me, to keep me motivated.  To show me the machines and proper technique.  Not only is this great a fitness, he’s also a great motivator and an inspiring individual.  You see, he’s a Fire Fighter with the Columbus, OH Fire Dept.  Ever since meeting this guy, I found myself learning, experiencing, and discovery many new things.  I thankful to have such a great mentor to help guide and shape me into a better person. 

This does relate to the business world, I promise 🙂

Ever since I have been working in the corporate world, they have had mentor-ship programs at pretty much every job I have held.  In my opinion, great idea on paper, not in practice.  This is not me saying I don’t agree with mentor-ship programs. The corporate mentor-ships seem to fail.

Why do they fail?!?!?

People lose interest.  People don’t sustain relationships and they lose track of what a mentor is supposed to do, and it’s just not successful. Most often, people get too busy. Deadlines to meet and tasks to complete. People just get too busy for any initiative, both the mentor and mentored.

It’s not like a mentor program is designed with tough, strict guidelines. Its often (and most likely) left up to the mentor and mentored to come up with the details that work best for them.

Competitive workplace. Competition can be fierce, rugged, and down-right dirty at some times.  With daily/weekly/quarterly sales goals and/or wanting to become the companies best associate. Competition can get in the way of a successful mentoring program. It’s highly unlikely that a top sales person is going to share and mentor some else on how to beat them or out-sell them.

Generation Gap. A lot of the people who are asked to be apart of mentor program are baby boomers. Baby boomers are known and often stereotyped as workaholics.  However, they have a very strong work ethic and getting actual face to face time for a meeting could be a struggle.  They are being asked to mentor younger generations, who come from two vary different places.

My Insight: How to get corporate mentor-ships to succeed

Don’t leave it up to the mentor program coordinator or manager or whoever pick or match up the mentor-mentored assignments.  Throw out the book on mentor programs.  Let the people decide every last detail.  Let the mentored pick who the want to mentor them.  Obviously, the mentor will have to agree and sign off on the partnership.But Choose wisely!  Excellent mentors will make it a point to get to know you and to respect your personal goals. They should be committed to your success, not theirs.  Not everyone likes or even wants to be mentored, I believe it can boost your morale and give you of self confidence. Mentors can and will come and go, so take advantage and use their advice and experiences to become the best you can be.

Let the mentored reach out to their social media and other networks to find a mentor.  You can easily reach to a colleague to become a mentor or become a mentor yourself and in your career or other disciplines. Check out some of the groups on LinkedIn or other social media sites.

At the end of the day, its truly up to the mentored on whether or not to be mentored or even have a successful mentor-ship.  Being mentored and giving back by mentoring others leads to professional success.

That’s just my two-cents……



Categories: Business

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