The term mentor originates from Greek mythology involving Athena, the legendary hero Odysseus, and his son Telemachus. In the myth Athena disguises herself as a character called “Mentor” and encourages Telemachus to set off on a successful quest to find his father and defeat their enemies. Athena’s role is the source of the name “mentor” we use today. Athena shielded Telemachus from his enemies using her power and experience.
A mentor can be your most powerful allie. Mentoring is a process that enables business professionals to reach their full potential. They will help you find your direction, improve leadership skills, develop competencies and powerful connections. If you speak to anyone who is a senior leader in your organisation or has built an incredible company they will tell you that one of their most valuable assets when building their dreams was the support of their mentor.
And there is a financial and social benefit to mentoring. It is estimated that unleashing the full potential of women in the UK alone would be worth and estimated £15-23B to the UK economy (Business in the Community 2016). Wow, this is powerful stuff!
Mentoring gives you time to think, find two-way inspiration, empowers and develops confidence, generates creativity and innovation, and develops leadership skills. Mentoring is a powerful personal development tool. By the way these are also skills that you can pass on to your friends, family and children.
There are loads of ways to get you started. Here are my 6 ways to find the perfect mentor for you:
- Get plugged into your community and start building relationships. Join a Facebook Group, pick up a book, subscribe to a podcast, head over to YouTube and tune into the explosion of free advice.
- Who is the best in your industry? Get connected with them. Go to their live events, show up in their world, observe and engage with them. There are incredible people in the world who understand your success is their success, so engage with those individuals who you know care about other people in world and not just their bank balance.
- Don’t just look up, also look to the side. Your colleagues who are alongside you are often closer to resolving the issues you are dealing with right now. The people above you are further ahead on their journey and whilst they offer super valuable advice it may not necessarily be relevant to where you are at today. So don’t miss out on valuable opportunities by insisting on a more “senior” mentor.
- If you have decided to invest in a mentor or coach you MUST do your due diligence. Does their salesy chat match up to your expectations? Research their testimonials, Google them ask for specific results, and understand what measurable impact they have had on their clients lives. Big statements are great but it won’t necessarily help you build a thriving business, grow as a business leader and develop the life you have been dreaming about. All that glitters is not gold - make sure you make a smart investment.
- Earn respect and trust. Do great work and be out there making waves in the world. “If you want someone to invest in you give them a reason to believe in you” Marie Forleo
Love you all.
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