How to find a mentor in a world where the right people are the key to discovering your potential.
January is National Mentor Month, and this episode is dedicated to how anyone can go out and find a guide to help them with their career and their life.
Thom Singer has been fortunate to have several people who have helped him along the way in his career. He met these mentors through volunteering, at work, through professional associations, and via networking.
He also serves as a mentor to others, especially two young professionals who he has worked with for over 6 years. They have become like family, and he realizes that his level of mentor / mentee connection is rare, he also understands that it is valuable for the both the mentees and the mentor.
Check out this episode for tips on how to find a mentor.
1. Realize you have to develop a relationship before asking someone to be your mentor. Successful executives are no waiting for strangers to call and ask for this level of commitment, but once someone knows you and sees a reason for the relationship, they just might be willing to help.
2. Being a mentee is give and take, Do not just assume the mentor has no needs or that you cannot help them find more success. Keep your eyes and ears open and look for ways to help them grow their business or meet key people. If you help someone they are more likely to notice you exist, and then be willing to serve in a more official way as your mentor.
3. The mentee must own the relationship in the early stages. If you want grow a meaningful connection with your mentor, you have to be the one who calls them and schedules your getting together (by phone or in person). Your mentor is busy, and probably has never been a mentor before, so you must instigate the ongoing conversations (at least early on).
4. Do what is asked of you. If your mentor gives you a suggestion or advice, take action and then report back. If the advice does not resonate with you, that is okay, but let them know why you did not do anything.
5. Be flexible on when you meet. Do not expect your mentor to move his schedule to accommodate yours. If early morning or a weekend is the best time for them to meet, that is when you meet.
6. Remember that you must make all decisions. You cannot ask you mentor to make decisions for you. A mentor is a guide, but you have to take ownership of the decisions you make.
7. Be open and honest with your mentor. You must tell your mentor the whole story (even if you do not look good), as they cannot properly advise you without all the knowledge of the situation.
All opportunities come from people, and a mentor can directly and indirectly impact the future success that you will have in life and career. If you are fortunate enough to find a real mentor, cherish that person. A real powerful mentor will help you from making the same mistakes that others have made, and thus let you accomplish more.