My role as a business coach is to bring out the best in my clients.
There are no cookie-cutter ways to lead. It’s about being true to who you are and who you are becoming.
As I work with executives, I watch them grow into better versions of themselves. And once this starts to happen, I see the potential they have to mentor others. And it’s an honor to be able to help people on their journey.
Do you have a mentor? When you think about them, what stands out?
I’ve been really fortunate and had a couple of great mentors. They helped me grow into the person I wanted to become.
They didn’t try to make me miniature versions of themselves, rather they brought out the best in me. And that’s what good mentors do.
They’re able to see what’s unique about you and support and encourage you on your path to success.
Anyone can be a mentor. You simply need to have the desire to bring out the best in another human being.
Here are a few lessons my mentors taught me:
1. Mentors know what matters most….to you.
Yes – this is just a fancy way of saying a mentor is a good listener. But it isn’t just listening to the words. It’s listening for the emotions. Good mentors know what you’re passionate about and what terrifies you. Knowing and understanding what you love and fear indicates what matters most to you.
Mentors take the time to understand how you see the world. This is important because they can’t help you grow if they don’t know the starting point.
How you see the world is comprised of all the experiences you’ve had up to this point. Effective mentors understand this and they don’t expect anyone else to see the world the same way they do.
Mentors don’t judge or try to manipulate what you value. They simply want to know what drives you. This allows them to understand your specific values and perspectives.
2. Mentors know what skills you love using.
Like most people, there are probably things you do really well but don’t necessarily enjoy doing.
And if you repeatedly perform tasks that bring you no joy or satisfaction, you’ll quickly burn out.
It doesn’t take long to watch someone and notice what they’re good at doing. From there, many make assumptions that just because someone is good at something, they enjoy doing it.
As a leader, it can be easy to start mapping out a growth path based on what you see someone is good at doing.
Good mentors don’t make that mistake. They notice what you do well AND then define what you LOVE doing. These things aren’t always the same.
Mentors don’t want to fit you into a box of their making. They want you to find ways to use your unique skillsets in more ways that satisfy you.
3. Mentors create space.
A good mentor knows that only you can pick the path that is best for you. Their role is to support you in becoming your best.
Mentors create the space for you to discover YOU.
Mentors have patience and trust in you and the process. No timelines exist for how your journey will unfold. Mentors are simply grateful to be chosen to travel with you for however long you need them.
Mentors know the answers don’t come easily. Life is often a series of starting, stopping, and starting over again until you find your path.
I hope each of you has a mentor in your life who has brought out the best in you. It’s never too late to find this person. And it’s never, ever too late to bring out the best in someone else.