By Hank Moore, Corporate Strategist™
Smart Leaders Don’t Have to Be Lonely at the Top. Professionals who succeed the most are the products of mentoring. The mentor is a resource for business trends, societal issues, and opportunities. The mentor becomes a role model, offering insights about their own life-career. This reflection shows the mentee levels of thinking and perception which were not previously available. The mentor is an advocate for progress and change. Such work empowers the mentee to hear, accept, believe, and get results. The sharing of trust and ideas leads to developing business philosophies.
The mentor endorses the mentee, messages ways to approach issues, helps draw distinctions, and paints pictures of success. The mentor opens doors for the mentee. The mentor requests proactive changes of mentee, evaluates realism of goals, and offers truths about path to success and shortcomings of mentee’s approaches. This is a bonded collaboration toward each other’s success. The mentor stands by mentees throughout their careers and celebrates their successes. This is a lifelong dedication toward mentorship in all aspects of one’s life.
The Most Significant Lessons I Learned From Mentors
- You cannot go through life as a carbon copy of someone else.
- You must establish your own identity, which is a long, exacting process.
- As you establish a unique identity, others will criticize. Being different, you become a moving target.
- People criticize you because of what you represent, not who you are. It is rarely personal against you. Your success may bring out insecurities within others. You might be what they cannot or are not willing to become.
- If you cannot take the dirtiest job in any company and do it yourself then you will never become “management”.
- Approach your career as a body of work. This requires planning, purpose, and commitment. It’s a career, not just a series of jobs.
- The person who is only identified with one career accomplishment or by the identity of one company for whom he-she formerly worked is a one-hit wonder and, thus, has no body of work.
- Many people do without the substantive insights into business because they have not really developed critical thinking skills.
- Analytical and reasoning skills are extensions of critical thinking skills.
- You perform your best work for free. How you fulfill commitments and pro bono work speaks about the kind of professional that you are.
- People worry so much what others think about them. If they knew how little others thought, they wouldn’t worry so much. This too is your challenge to frame how they see you and your company.
- Fame is fleeting. The public is fickle and quick to jump on the newest flavor without showing loyalty to the old ones, especially those who are truly original. Working in radio, I was taught, “They only care about you when you’re behind the microphone”.
- The pioneer and “one of a kind” professional has a tough lot in life. It is tough to be first or so far ahead of the curve that others cannot see it. Few will understand you. Others will attain success with portions of what you did, but none will do it as well.
- Consumers are undereducated. Our society takes more to the copycats and latest fads. Only the pioneer knows and appreciates what he-she really accomplished. That reassurance will have to be enough.
- Life and careers include peaks and valleys. It is how one copes during the “down times” that is the true measure of success.
- Long-term success must be earned. It is not automatic and is worthless if ill-gotten. The more dues one pays, the more you must continue paying.
- The next best achievement is the one you’re working on now, inspired by your body of knowledge to date.
- The person who never has aggressively pursued a dream or mounted a series of achievements cannot understand the quest of one with a committed dream.
- Much of the population does not achieve huge goals but still admires and learns from those who persevere and succeed. Achievers become life-long mentors to others.
- Achievement is a continuum and must be benchmarked and enjoyed.
7 Levels at Which Mentors Are Utilized
- Resource – Equipment, tools, materials, schedules.
- Skills and Tasks – Duties, activities, tasks, behaviors, attitudes, fulfillment.
- Role and Job – Responsibilities, functions, relationships, accountability.
- Systems, Processes, Structure – Control, work design, supervision, decisions.
- Strategy – Planning, tactics, organizational development.
- Culture and Mission – Values, customs, beliefs, goals, benchmarking.
- Philosophy – Organizational purpose, vision, ethics, long-term growth.
7 Levels of Mentoring
- Conveying Information – The mentor is a resource for business trends, opportunities, an active listener, and adviser on values and actions.
- Imparting Experiences – The mentor is a role model. They offer Insight about their own life-career. Reflection strengthens the mentor and shows levels of thinking and perception which were not previously available to the mentee.
- Encouraging Actions – The mentor advocates for progress by empowering the mentee to hear, accept, believe, and get results. Sharing of feelings, trust, ideas, and philosophies.
- Paving the Way – The mentor endorses the mentee, wanting his-her success. The mentor messages ways to approach issues, drawing distinctions, and painting pictures of success.
- Wanting the Best – There is a continuing relationship between the mentor and mentee. Progress is envisioned, contextualized, seeded, and benchmarked.
- Advocating, Facilitating – The mentor opens doors for the mentee. The mentor requests proactive changes of mentee, evaluates realism of goals, offers truths about path to success and shortcomings of mentee’s approaches. This is a bonded collaboration toward each other’s success.
- Sharing Profound Wisdom – The mentor stands by mentees throughout careers, celebrates successes. Energy coaching and love-respect for each other continues throughout the relationship.
Hank Moore has advised over 5,000 client organizations including public sector agencies, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and 100 of the Fortune 500. Contact Hank by phone at 713-668-0664, by email at [email protected], or visit his website at www.hankmoore.com.