Why Leadership Mentoring?
Behind every efficacious leader, there lies a mentor always – Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, Richard Branson and Sir Freddie Laker, Michael Bloomberg and William R. Salomon, Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou.
Associations define who we are and what we become, and being surrounded by people from whom you can acquire and share knowledge; the benefits you reap are enormous. It could be for a specified duration or it could be an ongoing journey that both of you decide to commence for the long term. Having an experienced mentor can bring mammoth value to your personal progress and career as they provide different standpoint which could be a blind spot, while mentoring boosts your career success to the next level through empowerment.
The 70:20:10 model approaches by Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) recognizes that 20% of operative leadership development is learnt from developmental relationships via response and working with, and observing, role models. Mentoring relationships do not need to happen as a result of a formal company-wide mentoring program. Not many have had the freedom of having someone invest in and expedite their career development. More often than not, most professionals understanding informal, intermittent mentoring experiences at different points in their careers.
Unceremonious mentoring relationship developed organically with someone outside the organization can be more successful where your headship chemistry, individual variances and needs have been taken into account. Having admired someone in a leadership position and imitating their interactive characteristics and leadership styles could also be one way. It is fulfilling, if not more worthwhile, when you become a guide and do the same for others yourself. Many mentors are enthused by their personal positive experiences with mentors and they pay it forward by intentionally becoming one, themselves. They identify a few high aptitudes and greatly invest their time and effort to their progression and development whereby they see their mentee’s success as their own which, in turn, rises the next generation of leaders.
Mentoring as a Demand of Leadership
Mentoring is not restricted to middle managers and team leaders; it is one of the key skills needed to prosper as a C-suite. Many efficacious leaders are mentors, and many are still being mentored. Harvard Business Review cited Leadership Skills as well as Team- and Relationship-Building Skills as one of the executive skills most appreciated by companies today and considered requisite for C-level, not just CEOs.
An executive’s job is to lead and develop the company from the top leadership to the down liners. The characteristics of world class leader involves “evolving an exceptionally strong leadership team” and “being less self-oriented but more interested and skillful in developing his/ her team.”
One of the leadership examples in high request are, “leadership in a non-authoritarian manner that works with today’s executive talent, balanced with authenticity, admiration for others, and conviction building,” where the need to employ coaching and mentoring approach proves to be more effective.
Prodigious executive leaders are not merely focused on driving their own triumph. They comprehend the importance of personal relationships and success is not a one-person show. Therein lays a fashion in successful leaders who have close relationships with their supervisor or a respected senior leader, who is also their trusted advisor to provide them valuable perspective and wise counsel. They have people who are not afraid to tell the raw, honest truth and provide the guidance they need at work and personal life.
Developing Leaders through Mentoring
Mentoring is indispensable in leadership development as the reassuring coach-mentor-mentee relationship is source of learning for leaders. Mentoring is an influential growth experience for both mentor and mentee which should be part of lifelong learning as perception is refined from the more experienced. To build sustainable leadership, it is important to ask these questions as an organization:
• Is value committed to mentoring within and outside of the organization?
• Are leaders anticipated to accelerate highly talented individuals through the organization to their optimal levels of performance?
One of the ways to address this is for leaders act as coach and mentor for their teams which could lead to more edges that builds a sturdier company.
Mentorship is critical for the Next Generation of Leaders. Whether the younger generation is being groomed to take over a family business or simply graduate into a Leadership Position At A Closely Held Or Public Company, the knowledge and acumen of the current generation is imperious to the younger generation’s success. However, that many mentor-mentee relationships suffer from a variety of obstructions, leaving both mentor and mentee frustrated and subjugated.
The Generational Divide is often the main driver of poor mentor-mentee relationships. Every generation has its own views, its own desires and its own theory on how the world should work. For many mentor-mentee relationships, this becomes a sticking point. The younger generation – Particularly Millennial – have a very different view of work than the Baby Boomers or even Generation X. The younger generation longs more work-life balance than the older generation. While the older generation is habituated to working long hours, the younger generation bank on increasingly on technology to assume some of the workload, allowing them to chase interests outside of work.
Neither view is right or wrong – but each generation tends to dig their heels in on their position, which can lead to offense and mistrust. To build and maintain a fruitful mentorship, there are some basic principles you should track as a mentor.
• Align Your Goals
Determine what each party wants from the mentorship association and ensure that each party’s goals for the relationship are allied. This will help avoid miscommunication and jabbing as the relationship grows. While the mentor and mentee may have diverse ideas of how to run the business, they both want the business to prosper. Aligning relationship goals will help both parties see the “big picture.”
• Make Your Expectations Clear
If you assume your mentee to work a 50-hour week instead of a 40-hour week, make it clear. If you expect something to be done by a definite date and time, make it clear. Be precise. Making your expectations clear will help you evade growing resentment and simplify the role of each person in the relationship.
• Treat the Mentorship like a Business
Often I see mentorships suffer because they are treated as insignificant to leadership Development. Mentors and mentees will cancel meetings regularly and give little priority to the affiliation. Mentorships should be treated like a business. Don’t make excuses. Don’t revoke meetings. Treat your mentee as if he or she were a client. Your mentorship meeting might not make that big sale by the end of the month, but make no mistake – it is crucial to the imminent of your business.
• Take a Comprehensive Approach
Mentorships aren’t just about schooling the next generation how the business works. Practice talking together about strategy, tactics, and philosophy. If the mentee has a new idea on how to progress the business, talk about it in penetration, don’t just write it off.
Look at the mentorship from every angle – how can you help the mentee ardently as well as strategically? You want your mentee to be both competent and assertive before they are ready to take the reins. This leads to execute a Smooth Succession.
• Get to Know Your Mentee on a Deeper Level
As a Family Business Consultant, often mentorships fail because the mentor thinks they know their mentee (a family member) as well as they can already. This is almost never the case. No matter how close you may be with your kids, there is plenty they don’t tell you (trust me). If your mentee is your child or another younger family member, treat them as if they were someone you never met. Call them by their first name ¬– and have them do the same with you.
• Give Mentees a Chance to Prove Themselves
The younger compeers have new ideas that the older generation doesn’t always agree with. Your mentee may be certain of that he or she can get the job done in less time, giving them more free time. You may grouse about their lack of work ethic. Don’t. Instead, give them a chance to prove their notion. Assign your mentee a project and let them do it their way, then see what the result is. You might be astounded!
• Give It Time
A fruitful mentorship takes time. Commit to at least a year and set real, quantifiable leadership development goals. Be fluid as well – modify the relationship and the goals as your mentorship relationship headways. Create safe environs where your mentee can open up and be honest about their uncertainties and fears. Never write them off or insolence them. A good mentoring is based on upright communication. Always keep the lines of communication open – and keep an open mind about the next cohort. Their evolution will ultimately decide the providence of your business going forward.