Many volumes have been written about traits of successful leaders..their talents, tenacity and temperament. Each leader is the product of a leadership pipeline that for the most part is highly filtered and produces a pool of viable candidates that will react similarly to given circumstances.
Since mentoring is a terrific way of transferring competencies from one person to another, it’s a great way to invest in people. So it has distressed me to see some view it simply as a fast-tracking opportunity with a drive to be mentored only by someone on the top leadership team. From my perspective a good ‘mentor-mentee’ relationship is based on mutual commitment to the process. Here are what I consider essential ingredients for such a relationship:
A good mentor should:
- Desire to see people succeed
- Devote the time and energy to help someone improve
- Develop and invest in personal growth that will bring fresh ideas
- Enjoy healthy debates, which include questions, challenges and even critiques
- Be an active listener
- Provide actionable feedback
A successful mentee should:
- Desire to learn and improve
- Respect the mentor by devoting time and energy to the process
- Apply and test the information
- Look forward to the opportunity to share experiences and competence as a mentor
Have you ever participated in a mentoring program? What has worked for you? Are there things you wish your mentor or mentee had done to make the experience more valuable?