Finding a Good Mentor

The recent public rash of incivility reminds me how important it is to find good mentors—people who will guide you when you make a mistake and, better still, help you avoid some!

Consultants and advisors—especially those running busy practices— sometimes have difficulty finding and nurturing good mentors. Being “the expert” may make it hard for you to put yourself in learning mode. And time is precious.

But there are still ways to connect with—or serve as—a mentor. Some ideas:

Identify a few people who resonate with you and with whom you feel mutual admiration and respect. Discount age as a factor—you can learn from and teach to folks of any age.

Reach out to them. Invite them to coffee if they are close, conversation (yes, a real live phone call) if they are not. Don’t worry—you don’t have to ask them to be your mentor—this is about results, not titles.

Make a commitment to developing a relationship. That means it’s not all about you, but about how you can help each other. For some special mentors, their joy will be in watching you succeed.

Pay it forward. There is someone out there who will treasure your mentorship and support. Seek them out—I’ll bet you’ve already got some ideas who they are.

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