What is a Mentor? Well, to get ‘nerdy‘ on ya, a mentor is
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……