Did you know there is a non-profit organization, National Mentoring Month (NMM), dedicated to promoting mentoring? President Obama, Maya Angelou, former President Bill Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Senator John McCain, Quincy Jones, General Colin L. Powell, Cal Ripken, Jr., Bill Russell and Usher are just a few prominent people who have participated in NMM’s campaign to build awarenes around this concept.
What are the responsibilities of a mentor? How do you find a mentor if you don’t have one? How do you become a mentor? These are some of the questions you may consider about being a mentor or finding one within your organization.
Why should you do this?
If you work in a large organization, having a mentor a few levels above you in the hierarchy can help you in your career path. A mentor can act as a sounding board for new ideas. He/she can help steer you in the right direction as changes occur within the organization, help to ensure you make the right decisions and even help to mitigate some of your unintended gaffs.
On the other hand, if you’re a middle manager or an executive, mentoring someone below you helps to train the next generation of managers and executives. As a role model and leader in the organization, you ensure that those coming up behind you have the qualities, expertise and sensibilities required to succeed and keep the organization on a growth or sustainable path.
If you’re an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you may choose to mentor someone outside your organization. While it requires additional time commitment on your part, the rewards are great. You know you’re doing something important to help make a difference in another person’s life.
Measuring Mentoring satisfaction
How do you measure that satisfaction? One way is through the responses you get from those you mentor. Another way is by monitoring your mentee’s progress in overcoming work and life challenges.
There are many ways you can choose to be a mentor, for example:
• In your community,
• through one of the schools your children attend,
• through your church or other faith-based organization,
• through online communities and social and mobile media
• through a local mentoring organization (here’s a list for your area in the US)
In today’s mobile world, online communities are also a powerful way to mentor others from a distance. Sending text messages to your special mentee and posting on their Facebook wall can help to brighten their day.
Become a mentor and do your part to help the next generation become the best they can!