The word mentor is being tossed about quite frequently these days. Sometimes in a positive light, sometimes in the negative, but I would guess you’ve heard the word and concept debated recently. There are a lot of people saying you need a mentor – but not a lot of information telling you how to find one. You can google “find a mentor” and come up with approx.. 126,000,000 (yes, that’s million) results, but most of them give you “don’ts” not “dos.” So, how do you go about finding a solid mentor?
Start with the purpose of mentorship. Mentor is defined as “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” Therefore, we know this person needs to be someone we trust to lead us in the right direction. Yet, they are much more than a teacher. There is a three-part purpose in having a mentor. A mentor needs to be someone who will hold you accountable, who will demand growth and will also lead you by modeling.
“SELF-EVALUATION IS HELPFUL, BUT EVALUATION BY OTHERS IS ESSENTIAL.” – DALE PARTRIDGE
I love the quote above because it speaks to the idea of accountability. Your mentor should not only encourage you to set clear goals, but needs to also keep you accountable to the goals you set. It’s easy to change our minds when things get hard, but the purpose of a mentor is to remind you of your direction, and help guide you through the paths they’ve already taken to arrive at your chosen destination.
“IF YOU’RE NOT GROWING, YOU’RE DYING.” – ANTHONY ROBBINS
There is much truth in the statement of growth and comparison to dying with a lack of growth. A mentorship is formed on the basis of growth. You, the mentee, desire to become more like the mentor – which will only come about during a time of personal growth. It is vital that you and the mentor are both committed to growth, regardless of how much you may have to work through.
“TELL ME AND I FORGET. TEACH ME AND I REMEMBER. INVOLVE ME AND I LEARN.” – BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
The last purpose of a mentorship is for your mentor to model the behaviors and values that you want to possess. It is vital that whoever your mentor is and how they live is something you would want to emulate. You are committing to spend a great amount of time with this person, gleaning valuable information from them. Study them. Take time to find out more about their past and how that shaped their present.
Mentorship is about experiential learning – learning passed down from those with experience – your mentor is modeling their experience in front of you.
So, now it’s your turn to leave some feedback…do you have a mentor? Do you think we missed anything in our description of purpose?
Leave a comment below!