Success leaves clues. You don’t have to be a master detective to decode the lessons that pour out from the most influential people who have walked the earth. One of the most effective ways to unpack the success clues and transform your life is to get a mentor who can help to unearth your full potential.
If you think of some of the greatest names across history, chances are, you can pinpoint a mentor that helped them to grow into their greatness. Oprah Winfrey had a great relationship with the late author and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, Warren Buffett’s iconic mentor was Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing. Even former US President, Barack Obama had a designated mentor at Sidley Austin law firm when he was a summer associate. That’s how he met his wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama.
It makes sense then, that if you want to become the best version of yourself, it would be a pivotal stepping stone for you to get a mentor. Anne Rolfe in her book, Mentoring Mindset, Skills and Tools, notes that
“Mentoring itself is about evolution – learning, advancement, and personal and professional growth. It is for those who proactively develop themselves.”
There are several advantages that come with having a mentor. The right one will empower you, help you overcome inertia, drive your productivity, and set you on a path to success.
Let’s look at how to choose your mentor and some tips for maintaining a successful mentor-mentee relationship.
- Choose the right mentor. There are professionals at the peak of their game across every industry. When choosing a mentor, there are several important points to consider. What’s your personality and what’s the personality of the person you’re thinking of for a mentor? What are your SMART short and long-term goals? Does this person have the expertise in the areas that you’re looking to grow? Do your values align? Is the person willing and able to help? Not because someone is successful means they can and will be your mentor. If the time doesn’t allow them to commit, this can derail any mentor-mentee relationship. These questions are important because they lay the foundation for compatibility.
- Outline expectations for both parties. Setting expectations at the beginning of the mentorship helps to keep you on track. What are you hoping to achieve from the relationship? How would you like your mentor to help you? Is there a specific time period you’d like to work together? And what roles will you be playing to keep your side of the bargain?
- Pace yourself. Once you’ve selected your mentor, you might be raring to go but give each other time to warm up to the relationship. This way, it will be reciprocal and mutually beneficial.
- Help your mentor help you. Be hungry to learn and to grow in the mentor-mentee relationship. Show respect for your mentor’s time by working out the logistics of meetings, taking initiative in keeping track of your key deliverables, and providing the necessary follow up.
- Be open to feedback. Whether it’s a raving review or constructive criticism on how you can improve, be open to having honest conversations with your mentor. Had a big win or loss? Share it. Your mentor can help you translate the lessons from experiences that didn’t go as planned, and can help you re-engineer the route to success.
- Have fun! The whole point of having a mentor is to ensure you have someone in your corner to get you out of your comfort zone, to have an accountability partner, and someone to lift you higher. Whether it’s a quick pow-wow or a celebratory meeting, your mentor-mentee relationship should bring a smile to your face and leave you feeling more empowered and accomplished.
Mentorship should set you up for success and elevate you personally and professionally. If the right foundation is not in place and lines are blurred, it can lead to disappointment. In order to get the most out of a mentor-mentee relationship, start by choosing the right mentor, setting expectations, pacing yourself to get familiar with the mentor, and playing an active role in the relationship.
WOMEN IN BIZ NETWORK BELIEVES MENTORSHIP, IMPACT AND ACCOUNTABILITY UP-LEVELING
CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE:
Women in Biz Network can help. We arrange Mentor Circles with an Accountability / Impact Club built in each month for our Mentor Circle Members. Lifetime members get these benefits plus a “one on one” mentor for 1 year.
Kimesha Walters is the CEO of Oasis Integrated Communications, a PR firm with operations in Canada and Jamaica, and a focus on helping businesses to find their paradise. She’s a seasoned PR professional with a passion for crafting meaningful stories that connect with people. An eternal optimist who thrives on perfecting solutions that marry creative brand experience with consumer engagement, she believes in tapping into the core values of a company and tailoring strategies that share their narrative and find affinity. Her experience spans public relations, corporate communications, marketing, social media and advertising across a range of industries. She has executed projects in Toronto, New York, and Jamaica where she has deftly managed some of the foremost brands across North America and the Caribbean.
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