Mentoring is quickly gaining recognition as one of the fastest ways to develop talent and accelerate leadership potential. Here are 10 reasons why you should be a mentor…
- Have you ever considered being a mentor?
- Do you have a mentor?
These are just two of the questions that are starting to be commonly asked in leadership circles as more people recognise the value of mentorship. Both from the perspective of being a mentor, and the perspective of having a mentor.
Mentoring is quickly gaining recognition as one of the fastest ways to develop talent and accelerate leadership potential. What people are also recognising is the value and development that comes with being a mentor.
So here are 10 reasons why you should be a mentor:
You are supporting a future leader
Seeing a leader developing their skills and knowledge first hand, and knowing that you have played a part in this, can be incredibly satisfying. There is a sense of leaving a legacy and fulfillment when you reflect on what you have given to your mentee.
2. You develop your communication and coaching skills
Your improved skills will allow you as a leader to communicate more effectively with the team in your workforce, making it easier to influence your team. It is important to recognise that not everyone is able to immediately step into the role of mentor. Being an expert in your technical field is one thing, being a mentor is something very different.
3. You build networks and become part of the mentoring community
Relationships are a key to your success in business and your network is a powerful resource as it allows you to share information, insights and provide support. The mentoring community is growing as more and more leaders recognise its value.
4. You gain insights into other industries
There can be incredible learning opportunities when you mentor someone from outside your own industry and you will pick up the nuances of that sector. It is very easy to fall into the trap of always looking at things through the lens of your experience and perspective. There is much value to be head from taking a wider view.
5. You are encouraged to practise solutions-based thinking
All leaders need to be able to understand business challenges as this allows them to make solid business decisions. Understand the problem, then spend more time focused on the solution. The practice of solutions-based thinking is a discipline you will be able to take back into your own leadership and own workplace.
6. Mentoring brings business opportunities
It may be that your mentee brings opportunities to you, or you may simply spot the opportunity as a result of the relationship. Depending how active you are on social media, opportunities might also present themselves as you share your insights along the mentoring journey.
7. Mentoring increases your credibility as a leader
Being a mentor can actually increase your credibility as a leader because it demonstrates that you have the ability to develop others. Employers are looking for leaders who can develop other leaders as succession planning becomes more of a challenge for organisations as expectations grow about career opportunities.
8. Being a mentor becomes a sellable skill
Having your mentoring experience on your resume can add to your leadership credibility, especially if you have been mentoring for a number of years. Leaders who are serious about their careers and recognise the value an external mentor can bring. The value comes in the form of a clear perspective because they are not working for the same employer.
9. Leaders who mentor leave a legacy
As a mentor, it is important to consider the legacy you will leave. You can have a lasting impact on people which goes beyond their working life. This is actually one of the most fulfilling aspects of being a mentor because sometimes just knowing the small contribution you have made to the life of another person is incredibly rewarding.
10. Mentoring gives you opportunities for self-reflection
As you work with your mentee on their career path, their career challenges and anything else which may arise, you will find yourself contemplating your own leadership journey. This can be a powerful experience as you will undoubtedly find lessons in your own development which can, of course, be shared with your mentee.
Mentoring is more than just a fancy word for supporting someone else.
It is a commitment of time and effort that is rewarding and provides a sense of fulfillment that goes beyond leadership and management. It is knowing that you have made an impact on your mentee whilst at the same time undertaking some valuable self reflection, which can only have positive outcomes for your own leadership.
Being a mentor is an idea that I believe all leaders should subscribe to and I imagine what the state of leadership might be like if this were the case.