“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton
In the words of Sir Isaac Newton, mentors extend vision, enable proteges to attain greater heights. In short, mentors provide undeniable counsel and resources that are not necessarily or readily available or accessible. One of the key realities on our journey is the fact that you will discover that you can not ‘do,’ ‘go’ or ‘be’ all you can be all by yourself. You will eventually need people and people will need you. Invariably, you will discover that no one is an island and our interconnections is an obvious reality that reminds me of the popular adage on vacuums. It is true that no one can exist or succeed in a vacuum. Each one of us will require other people’s help, support, insight, feedback, and resources at one point on our journey.
Coincidentally, the value of mentoring goes beyond oneself. It is a gift that keeps on giving and I am reminded of this scripture that says, “in the multitude of counselors (mentoring) there is safety.” I truly believe that!
Great Mentors Must Have These Attributes
Great mentors provide intangible resources and vital tools not readily available or accessible due to their experience, access, and vintage point. In my humble opinion, great mentors are the proverbial ‘wind’ beneath one’s wings.
I have had the good fortune of good mentorship and have observed the effect of great mentoring on the community.
Here are some undeniable attributes of great mentors:
- Great mentors show interest in your success
- Great mentors are vested in your success
- Great mentors are aligned with your best interest
- Great mentors focus on helping you be the best you can be
- Great mentors do not compete with you but rather complement you
- Great mentors are not afraid of your successes or threatened by them
Here are 5 reasons why you need a mentor:
Mentors coach and prepare you for change.
The economy of the new workforce does not operate solely on hard work but rather on smart work. You need to get smarter about people, relationships, processes, opportunities, and strategies. Great mentors help you get smarter with their wise counsel.
Mentors fine tune and transform your vision.
They provide ideas, thoughts and insights that challenge and enable you to see beyond your sphere of influence. Mentors amplify visions by elevating your thinking capabilities. Mentors elevate you by making their shoulders your platform. They prop you up and this demonstration of trust must not be abused as their extensions is a critical validation that will eventually open doors and grant you access to opportunities beyond your circle.
Mentors push you to go farther.
They refuse to let you settle on your oars and invariably challenge you to go farther than you can possibly imagine. They pat you on the back for your successes, guide you in extracting lessons from your failures and by so doing push you far.
Mentors protect you from missteps.
Mentors protect and nurture their proteges from premature exposure. They provide insights on how to navigate political landmines in organizations and how to make sound business decisions in your startup or engagements. Their counsel prevents missteps that could otherwise derail your success. Mentors by their sound counsel guide proteges from ending up in pits.
Mentors share life lessons.
Mentors use their stories and perspectives to paint pictures of what is possible. They use words and their actions to support you. Invariably, building you up for more than you ever thought possible.Lastly, mentors never give up on you. They never quit believing, encouraging and engaging their protege. Great mentors assume the vision of their proteges until it is a reality.
Featured photo credit: Flickr.com via flickr.com