The Importance of Mentoring

Published February 12th, 2008 in Blog, Designed for Success, Mentoring

Thank you for the wonderful feedback on Designed for Success. The response to the interview with John Hagee has been remarkable. What an honor it was to be with Pastor Hagee on the set of John Hagee Today, airing around the world. If you missed the two-day interview, it will air again next week, February 21-22.

I appreciate each of you who have taken the time to comment. Your questions are also right on the mark. Many of you have asked about mentoring specifically, and I am delighted to address those questions here. First, if you don’t have a mentor, make 2008 the year to find one! Mentoring is by far one of the most powerful things you can do for your career (and your sanity). We are designed for success, but we are not designed to go it alone! Our lives should come with that disclaimer. Do not attempt any of this alone! A good mentor is a sounding board, a trusted advisor, and visionary. This is someone who can help you sort it out, find opportunity inside challenge, and craft your professional development. Ask the most successful people; they can point to mentors who have helped them achieve the level of success they currently enjoy. Several of you asked how to choose a good mentor, or what is the ‘criteria’ you should consider when selecting a mentor. Here are a few things you may want to consider. Good mentors:

  • Believe in personal growth. They are growing and learning; development is a core value.
  • Possess excellent communication skills.
  • Are trustworthy.
  • Have achieved a level of success or accomplishment you aspire to.
  • Help you make important discoveries and find your blind spots. 
  • Rather than lending you their judgment, they assist you in developing your own.
  • Are willing to invest themselves in the success of others.
  • Have an excellent reputation, marked by integrity.
  • Are authentic. They are willing to share what they have learned from success and failure.

Who in your personal or professional life meets these criteria? I encourage you to ‘test drive’ a mentor. Run a challenge you are currently facing by them. Ask their opinion about an opportunity. Learn from their experience by asking questions. What has been their greatest career lesson or most notable achievement? What skills did they consciously work to develop and master? What challenges have they faced, and how did they overcome those? What do they value, and how do they reflect and honor those values in their work? How has mentoring impacted them? As you look for a mentor, remember to be one. As you reach forward with one hand, reach back with another and bring someone along. You may have the answer someone else is looking for. Invest yourself in others. It is such a pleasure to watch another person ‘become.’ Stayed tuned for more of the mentoring discussion! We will explore this topic more fully in the days to come. In the meantime, if you have a specific question, please post it! Many of you shared such positive feedback about Designed for Success. Thank you for that! Please go to amazon.com and give us a review! Thank you in advance for helping us share Designed for Success with the world.