What’s a Good Mentor?
The definition of mentor: “An experienced and trusted adviser.”
The definition of leader: “the person who motivates a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal.”
In both cases, we know the good ones when we see them. In many cases, mentors and leaders are one in the same.
Today, the greatest leaders are also recognized as being strong mentors. They understand that to lead a group, an organization or a country, they need to motivate the individuals that make up that group, organization or country on an individual by individual basis.
No two people are the same but we all instinctively crave direction and a path to follow that feels safe and secure to us. We all define safe and secure a little differently based on our unique experiences, influences and moments. Our level of risk-taking and the fears we need to manage are unique to each of us.
We need good leaders and good mentors in our lives to thrive and survive. They push us to face our fears, challenges, obstacles and opportunities. They help open the doors that allow us to remove roadblocks and see opportunities.
Good mentors and leaders understand that to motivate us in one direction or another, they need to connect with us on an individual basis. They need to inspire us with vision.
The Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they want done unto them.”
We recognize good mentors and good leaders because they inspire us, and they treat us the way we would like to be treated. They communicate to us the way we need to be communicated to. They challenge us the way we need to be challenged. They motivate us the way we need to be motivated.
Good mentors and good leaders lead us to discover our path.
Good mentors are leaders.
Why Good Mentors Matter?
As humans, we’re all wired to continuously learn. Every day we take in more and more information that will shape our choices, behaviors and actions in the future. Every day we experience moments, influences and experiences that will shape what we think, what we believe and ultimately who we are. We’re wired to grow and learn.
Good mentors push us to be better. Good mentors challenge us to think for ourselves. Good mentors lead us to consider what is possible. And good mentors help us plan to achieve more than we might have originally thought was possible. Good mentors open doors.
Good mentors keep us future focused and they hold us accountable. When life throws us an obstacle, a challenge or an opportunity, good mentors don’t coddle us. Good mentors look at the present, they look at where we want to go, and they help us chart a course for getting there.
We can trust good mentors to have our best interest in mind. We understand that good mentors will make mistakes and are not always correct, but they are consistently honest, caring and coming from a spot of integrity.
Good mentors understand their unique strengths as well as their limitations. Good mentors help us connect the dots and connect with other people whose unique strengths might be what we need in the moment. Good mentors are humble and emotionally intelligent.
Good mentors can become great leaders.
The greatest leaders are also good mentors.
What’s Your Gift? – Pass it On!
Pablo Picasso once said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose in life is to give that gift away.”
Start with learning what your unique strength is (ie. what your gift is). Ask those around you, people you trust, what they think your unique strength is (your gift). It’s the perception of others that matters. How others perceive you and your strengths is ultimately what qualifies you to be their mentor or leader. They will consider you a mentor when they trust that you have unique strengths that can help them in their own journey.
Give the gift of mentorship. When you understand what your unique strengths are, put them to use. Look for opportunities to help. Look for opportunities to inspire others and to share your gifts. When you do so, you will find more energy, enthusiasm and gratitude in everything that you do.
The concept of “pay it forward” is real. It doesn’t always have to be a monetary exchange like buying someone a cup of coffee. Sometimes, it can be sharing the right words at the right moment or demonstrating a simple act of kindness.
Look for opportunities to lead. Step in and be the leader. Be a mentor. Be open to sharing your unique strengths with others. As you do so, be open to learning new strengths in the process. The concept of the “more you give, the more you get” is also real.
The World needs Leaders.
We are arguably experiencing the most transformative time in the history of the world. The world needs great leaders. The world needs great mentors. You may not be able to help everyone in every situation, but you always have the opportunity to create a culture of accountability and help those you can.
Leaders take the time to see and understand the problems around them. Leaders prioritize and organize the information they learn. Leaders enroll those that can help solve the problems. Leaders articulate with clarity and focus and leaders are open to change and reinventing as necessary.
Leaders make a difference. Mentors make a difference.
Being a good mentor can be the game-changing, difference-maker that someone else needs.
Beging a good leader can be the game-changing, difference-maker that everyone around you needs.
Good leaders’ matter!
Good mentors’ matter!
First: Thank the mentors in your life that have helped lead you to be who you are.
Second: Choose to be the leader in your life. Choose to create your world.
Take the time to establish a plan for yourself. Learn to understand your unique strengths and understand where you want to go and why. Learn to find the mentors that can help you in different areas of your life. Learn to be the mentor in the lives of those around you.
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