Is mentoring for you?
If you want to succeed in business, you can’t go it alone. That’s to say, behind any successful business owner is a community of people who believed in him or her. The whole is really greater than the sum of the parts in this case.
Mentorship is one important factor that’s not often discussed in the business world. Yet working with a mentor can serve as a leg up for any business builder regardless of industry. It really comes down to helping you maximize strengths, minimize weaknesses and work to carve out a future you want. Mentors remind us of who we are and empower us to push forward in our journey. They are partners in our success but should also be objective and hold us accountable.
While the basic concept of mentoring hasn’t changed much from its earliest form in ancient Greece, the tools have evolved with time. Previously, communication had to be carried out in person or over the phone. Now, both parties can connect online and stay in touch outside of business hours, around the globe.
With virtually 24/7 communication, that doesn’t mean there aren’t boundaries. This is quite the opposite, in fact. The relationship should meet the needs of both the mentor and mentee, especially when it comes to frequency of interaction. Second, the level of structure sets the tone for the match. In a formal arrangement, there could be regular meetings with specific agendas and goals. A more casual setup means mentees might call on the mentor as problems arise or when guidance is needed. Regardless of the preference, it’s important a mentor is not compensated so that he or she can remain objective and not have ulterior motives. Mentoring should always be voluntary.
Great things can happen when two people are committed to the outcome of the match. For example, Richard Branson cites the importance of mentor Sir Freddie Laker in helping him get Virgin Atlantic off the ground. Other examples mentioned in the article illustrate the power of pairs who have united around a common goal. Could you imagine a world without Facebook? If it weren’t for the enlightenment Mark Zuckerberg experienced he might not have stayed the course and the world would no doubt be a different place.
Do you have a mentor or do you serve as one? If not, you might be missing out on opportunities to approach your business in a different way. Are you ready to show up for your business?