Mentorship is an essential aspect to developing your leadership abilities. Great mentors help you to bridge the gap between where you are to where you want to be in the future. You will be able to achieve new levels of success and excel toward your maximum potential with a great mentor.
Since this is the case, leaders should take a considerable amount of time identifying a great mentor and then ask them for mentorship. Like street signs giving you directions, there are signs of what makes a great leader. When finding a mentor you should consider these things for they will direct you toward the best mentor.
1. A person with a good track record
A track record clearly shows us what the person has achieved or accomplished. This does not mean that they will have a perfect track record, meaning they will have experienced failures and made mistakes. But the overall track record should show the person has maintained their character and integrity while producing results in their field. Take time to look at the person’s track record before asking them to mentor you.
2. A person who stretches you
The person who mentors you should be a catalyst for you to break out of your comfort zone and normal routines. They should not allow you to be content with staying in the same place but stretch you toward a better and more desirable future. You will only grow and become better by being stretched and we often need another person help stretch us. A great mentor understands this and actively stretches you.
3. A person who inspires you
It’s imperative to find a mentor whose actions and attitude inspires you to be and do better. They should believe in you and have your best interest in mind as well as being able to challenge (being firm or tough about) your actions, thoughts, and motives. They should know how to inspire you and discipline you, depending on the situation. Be careful about picking your mentor because they will either lift you to a new level or prevent you from reaching your maximum potential.
4. A person who shares similar beliefs and values
Something to consider when identifying a potential mentor is whether the person shares your personal beliefs and values. When both parties share similar beliefs and values, it allows them to relate, find mutual ground, and connect with each other on a deeper level. A mentor can shape our attitude, thoughts, mindset, and actions. We need to be careful the shaping and influence they have on us will stem from and enhance our core beliefs and values. Make sure the potential mentor shares similar beliefs and values as yourself.
5. A person who has mastered and achieved
This goes alongside a good track record. It’s imperative your mentor has mastered the skills you want to grow and develop and/or has successfully done what you want to do. The person should have a combination of knowledge (book smarts) and hands on experience. Identify the skill (s) you want to master and then make sure your mentor is competent in those areas.
6. A person who has established influence
A mentor should have established some level of positive influence. This does not mean they have to have a position or title as a leader. But, they should be someone who leads themselves and those around them successfully. Your mentor should be someone who’s example and influence inspires you to be a better person and leader. Take time to observe the potential mentor to see if they have established influence within the different areas of their life.
Questions: What do you look for when finding a mentor?
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