By Kent Ingle
Mentorship is a wonderful and powerful tool in the hands of an effective leader. It’s an opportunity to invest deeply into the lives of other people in a unique, impactful way. Mentoring is something I believe every leader should be involved in. But it’s not easy. It requires a tremendous amount of time and energy and is a big commitment for a leader. That’s why it’s important that we learn to maximize our mentoring relationships. So here are a few things that you might find useful to help maximize your mentorship.
First of all, mentorship is about both professional and personal growth.
An effective mentor guides someone towards wise career choices. They help them develop their skills and strategies so they can succeed in their profession. But truly transformational mentorship goes one step further. A transformational mentor helps guide and shape a person’s character just as much as guiding and shaping a career. They know that an extraordinary career is built upon an exceptional person. So an effective mentor will come alongside and empower the person to chase after their vision!
Secondly, mentorship is about both challenging and encouraging.
Part of being an effective mentor is knowing when to step back and challenge or to step up and encourage. There are some things a person has to learn through experience. And as a mentor, it’s important to know when to step back and tell someone they’ll have to figure it out on their own. You want the person to be confident in themselves. But that requires both words of encouragement and challenges to action. Challenges are opportunities for growth!
Lastly, mentorship is about empowering others to live on the cutting-edge.
It takes a lot of courage to be an innovative pioneer. But no one finds their true calling without taking risks. As a mentor, it’s important to come alongside and encourage others to be bold and courageous leaders! To believe in themselves and their vision and to even take some risks if need be.
Dr. Kent Ingle serves as the president of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. For more leadership content, check out KentIngle.com.