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Leadership: Is Mentoring for You?

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. - John Quincy Adams


Here are things to consider if you are considering mentoring a younger person.

Make sure that mentoring is for you. Most effective mentors truly demand to enjoy helping younger people grow and develop. Make sure you are likely to enjoy the process before you take it on.

Make sure you have the time and flexibility. If your schedule is overloaded or you are stressed at home, you might consider holding off on a mentoring commitment until things are a little less hectic.

Make sure you know what you bring to the table. None of us is good at everything, but everyone is good at something. You are more likely to succeed if you know what you are good at and what other things you may bring to the table.

In his excellent book, Winning, Jack Welch says that ", “There is no one right mentor. There are many right mentors." From your perspective, which means you do not have to do everything. You are not the only place where your protégée should get help.

Make sure you know what kind of people you like to work with and which ones are hard for you. Mentoring should be a satisfying relationship for both of you.

Make sure you know what you expect from your protégée. It is a clever idea to tell them what you expect them to do. Clear expectations are vital to a mentoring relationship.

Make sure you know that a good mentoring relationship should be a pleasant experience for both of you. It would help if you both enjoyed it. You should both grow and develop. And it would help if you both made a friend for life.

Mentoring can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your career, or it can be a frustrating and time-consuming trial. Make sure you know what you are getting into.

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