Mentors – Do you have one?
Do you have a mentor? Someone you talk to on a regular basis about your career, life, job and anything else that is important in your life? I don’t mean a friend, or a buddy, I mean a mentor. Someone who will listen with an open mind and give you the straight advice you need. Webster defines mentor as: “A wise and trusted counselor or teacher”. Do you have one?
You might ask, “Are you saying that if I want to be successful, I must have a mentor”. Take a look at the successful people you know and ask them if they had a mentor. Take a look at those who where once successful and now are struggling? Did they once have a mentor? Many of us had mentors, but then we thought we got to old, to smart, to successful and we did not need that mentor anymore. Wrong. Success is not a goal; success is a life long journey. Success is not getting rich; success is a totally balanced life, successful in all aspects. Many people are successful in one or two things, but people with great mentors are successful in most all things.
This is not a guy thing either. Women also need mentors who can help them in their lives. Again, this is not your best friend; in fact, at time this person may not seem like your friend at all. This is your mentor.
Think back on all your successes in life, and if you are reading this, you have had many successes, because only successful people are on this email list. You will find that your greatest successes in life come from reaching out and helping someone. Being that mentor who helps another succeed.
If you’re a parent, you know what great success comes from watching your child succeed at what they do. Many are lucky out there and have had a parent or been a parent who is a great mentor. Now take that same success and apply it in business. Those of us who have had great successes look back and say that success was based on this person reaching out and helping me. You can sit here and say “I Did It” all you want. But once you take a closer look, I believe you will find someone else helped you.
My first business mentor was a system analyst I worked for in the late 1970’s. He took the time to teach me the things that would make me successful at what I wanted to do. He took the time to listen and to guide me.
When I first became a senior manager, I had two excellent mentors who took great amounts of time to listen to me and to show me the right road. They also took time to let me fall flat when I thought I knew better, but at least they let me try.
If you do not have a mentor today – don’t push it; just make it a priority in your life to find someone who can fill that slot. While you are looking, go ahead and be a mentor to those who need you. Just look around, they are very easy to find.
Please send me any mentor stories and I will put them up on the website.
I am a firm believer that I am good, very good. But I also know how to take guidance. I hope when I am 70, I am still working with a mentor; and when I am 82 I hope I will still be a mentor.