Think of someone in your life that has served as a role model to you. Even if it wasn’t someone directly involved in your life, i.e. a celebrity, athlete, or politician, think of what they meant to you. Generally speaking, we look to our role models as someone to guide us and to inspire us. We look to this person to provide us with a sense of drive and to outline goals for us to achieve and records to break. While role models can be very important and serve as a beneficial motivator, we don’t often have the chance to interact with them; role models tend to be someone that inspires us from afar. Mentors, on the other hand, are people who inspire us and work with us directly to help us grow – and they happen to be one of the strongest learning tools and resources we have.
According to Inc.com, mentors are important because they can offer real-time guidance from their own experiences. Mentors interact with us so that we can be directly involved within the learning process of whatever task we’re trying to successfully carry out or whatever skill we’re trying to develop. In this regard, mentors are not only teachers, but are the hindsight we always wished we could have.
In order to choose the right mentor, you have to think about someone that you respect and someone who will challenge you in the right ways. They should be someone you feel comfortable around, as mentors will often try to break you out of your comfort zone in order to learn not only what can be seen from a different perspective, but also to learn how to handle yourself when you do feel out of your comfort zone. Mentorship is a great way to get the feedback you’re unable to see from inside your process.
One of the greatest things about mentorship is that finding a mentor isn’t too difficult. With thousands of people having paved the way to the technological and humanitarian advancements we have today, there’s bound to be someone close to you or your circle that has the insight and professionalism necessary to be they type of mentor that you need. This theme is even noted in a recent Forbes article on the same topic. Because our world is so advanced and there are so many people pushing the envelope further and further towards success and innovation, having a mentor on your team will allow you to stay on track or ahead of the competition.
Have you had a successful mentorship experience? Tweet your experiences to me @PepperRutland.