Today, employees are expected to do more to contribute to their company. Often this means being more focused & knowledgeable with less support and fewer resources. If you're feeling the pressure to keep up, learn continuously and demonstrate your talents simultaneously, you're not alone. This is where a mentor can very helpful. A mentor should be someone who has more life experience than you; someone you aspire to be like or who you think shares your morals and values. If you can find the right mentor, you will find yourself receiving an invaluable informal education.
If you don't have a mentor, now is the perfect time to find one. John Drury in his CEO Magazine article offers "5 Benefits of Working with a Mentor." Here are some excerpts:
1. A MENTOR ASKS GREAT QUESTIONS
Questions that make you think more deeply about what you are doing and what you really want from your business or career. Typically, when working hard you are focused on parts of your business. A mentor helps you see the whole; and they help you understand the wider business context of what you are doing. They help you think about it so you can better articulate your vision.
2. A MENTOR HELPS YOU MAINTAIN A HEALTHY PERSPECTIVE
A mentor is a bit like a zoom lens on a camera. They will help you zoom out to see the big-picture view of your business dreams, goals and strategic plans; and they will assist with the close-up view of the problems and roadblocks that need specific attention as well. The power of the mentor is that they are not working in the business, so they are able to see both views to enable perspective and wisdom. The business leader is often too engaged with the operational details to maintain that clear view all the time.
3. A MENTOR PROVIDES A SAFE PLACE FOR YOU TO BE REAL
Many business leaders can function well but are not emotionally healthy. A good mentor will get past any façade you put on for your team and help you with your inner challenges. Those things that play on your mind and disturb your sleep.
4. A MENTOR WILL HELP YOU GROW YOUR CAPACITY
You need to find a mentor who can see your potential. Someone who helps you be a better version of yourself. They will help you see your potential and believe in yourself. They are less emotionally involved in the business, and therefore less affected by the ups and downs. They will encourage you and help you to be better and release your potential.
5. A MENTOR KEEPS YOU ACCOUNTABLE
The best mentors are people who will challenge you to think deeply, make tough decisions, and have difficult conversations. They will help you be more confident that you are on the right track or have thought through the implications in difficult times. They will tell you when you are being a jerk, or when you are confusing a personality difference with a relationship problem. This level of accountability is hard to handle at times but is always a good thing for those in leadership.
One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see
and to help them navigate a course to their destination.
John C. Maxwell