On mentors and mentoring…
One of the best elements of my job and calling is that I am able to spend lots of quality time with highly successful leaders in both business and ministry. In that capacity, I am continuously amazed by the number of accomplished leaders who have lamented the fact that in their careers they never found a person who would serve as a mentor for them, either personally or professionally. In fact, it is the rare leader who speaks of a respected and trusted person who demonstrated a willingness to invest in their success with NO EXPECTATION OF RETURN. Someone who wanted them to succeed for their own sake.
I have often had those same feelings. In the few instances where I believed I had found a suitable mentor I was unable to persuade them to serve in that capacity for me. (Admittedly, that may have just been something about me!) Most often they would respond to me with one of two comments. Either they did not believe they had capacity to take on what felt like a new responsibility OR (and more commonly) they believed they had little or no value to add. As I shared those feelings with my wife one day she replied, “Well, what are you doing about the men who are younger than you who might want you to serve in that role for them?”
Ouch… She was spot on in her analysis of course and I made a commitment to do so.
The time I have since spent investing in the personal and professional development of other men has been the richest and most rewarding role I have played outside of my role as a father and husband. In that regard I have discovered two key things:
- I have little or no expertise or wisdom to offer as a mentor AND THAT DOESN’T MATTER
- Other people really want to know that someone believes in them and their success
Want one of the best jobs you will ever have? Qualifications required are:
- A little humility
- A willingness to encourage
- A desire to give back
- A little bit of courage
It doesn’t need to be formal. Just find someone and begin to invest in helping them to be the best man or woman they can be. You won’t regret it…