Some people recommend a coach, some recommend a mentor. In business – success is a journey and I recommend finding all the help and support you can get. But let’s talk about mentors today, and why you need one.
Within a corporation, a mentor can be an influential senior sponsor. Boy, did I need one at numerous stops on the corporate ladder, and I didn’t always have one. At my last corporate position, in Boston, I had several great mentors, but in particular, our founders hired a CFO named Larry Begley, who personified the word mentor, and he hired my last boss in the corporate world, a great woman named Liz Fente. The two of them truly helped shape my opinion of leadership, corporate values, ethics, and about being true to what you believe. I’ll be writing more about them later this week.
Tomorrow I am meeting up with some great women colleagues for a happy hour and I have asked them all to bring a story or poster about one of their greatest mentors. I am so looking forward to it, because this is what inspires us all to push forward. On to the reasons:
1. You need a mentor because you don’t know everything! Coaches are fantastic in one sense but a mentor can be more of a friend and guide…. Sharing her wisdom and what she’s learned already. Why reinvent the wheel? It is great to be able to learn from OTHERS mistakes, not just your own.
2. You need a mentor because as you build your business – as entrepreneur or sales leader, it can be a lonely road. Having someone who is a phone call (or text message) away can be so very valuable.
3. You need a mentor because rather than reacting to everything that comes your way, you may have the opportunity to actually plan your business or career through the insights, warnings, and suggestions of your mentor. You can be more big-picture focused and less panicked.
Stop right now and write down what you would like in a mentor if you don’t have one yet, and also who you would ideally want AS your mentor. Then, ask them.
If you already have a mentor or mentors, take a moment to think about why you appreciate them, and then thank them. Post your thoughts – sharing about mentors will undoubtedly help others.