Thursday, January 15, 2015

Choosing the right mentor

Mission: A mission is defined as a specific task or assignment - which implies that it requires work in order to succeed. Likewise, entering into a Mentoring relationship is a mission. It takes a lot of work - on both the Mentor and Protégée's part. So you need to be clear on your mission - Why do you think you need a mentor? What do you hope to achieve in order to declare "Mission accomplished!"?

Oprah Winfrey said "A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself."

Empowerment: Prof Shawn R. Hitchcock* said, “A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future, and believe it can be obtained. It’s that feeling that someone is concerned about you, that they want you to succeed.”
So it is important that in seeking out a mentor, it must be someone with a positive outlook to life - theirs and yours. Without a positive outlook to their own life or feel motivated to move forward, how can he/she empower you? 


Networker: Your mentor should be someone who is a good "Networker."  

Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn put it well: "One of the challenges in networking is everybody thinks it's making cold calls to strangers. Actually, it's the people who already have strong trust relationships with you, who know you're dedicated, smart, a team player, who can help you."  A good mentor should exemplify good networking skills.

Teacher: A good mentor must be someone you're willing to learn from. Like John Crosby said: "Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction."

Indeed nothing is learned until something is taught...and something is caught. So it's not enough for your Mentor to be a good "teacher," you also need to be a good/willing learner. 

Remember "Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere." ~Chinese Proverb

Optimistic:  You need to seek out and have a mentor who is an Optimist. Now that is not to say that the person should not be realistic, but like Helen Keller said: "Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."
This ties in with what Bob Proctor said "A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you."     


Reachable: Your mentor must be someone you have access to. It doesn't have to be 24/7, daily, weekly or even monthly but you need to be able to reach the person from time to time and you need to mutually agree on the frequency.

Face-to-Face meetings are encouraged but answers to questions or guidance can be provided by email or over the phone.


Wishing you a productive Mentoring relationship...and in time, if you're not already one, you'll become a value-adding mentor to others who come in contact with you.

Another good resource: http://franchisegrowthpartners.com/mentoring


Reference:
* http://mediarelations.illinoisstate.edu/identity/1213/nov/Hitchcock.asp

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Are you on the leading edge...

...or on the bleeding edge?

All of us have an edge* in life. And some of us also we want to be on the leading edge in our careers. And rightly so. As we know "Leading edge" refers to having the most advanced position in an activity.

The challenge is that in trying to do a lot and more, we stretch ourselves. In doing that, there is a high tendency to overstretch. When we overstretch ourselves and then stress ourselves and before long, you've gone over from the leading edge to what I'll call the "bleeding edge."

I believe that the best way of remaining on the leading edge is by being the best version of you...and doing your very best each and every time. As Oprah Winfrey said:
"Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment."

As we start this brand new year, aim to be on the leading edge, not the bleeding edge. Do your best. Be your best. Give your best and you'll be the best you.

Welcome to your best year ever...may it be blest in every way. Happy New Year!

Footnote:
*An advantage - something we're better than others at.