There is a wonderful way to cut twenty years off the learning curve in your career. It is to hang out with people who are where you want to be or people who have done what you want to do. The key is to create win/win relationships with them. A mentor is one of many ways to accomplish this objective.
A mentor is someone who is interested in your success, happiness, well being and believes in you and wants to help you in any way they can. And, he/she is willing to give you the benefit of:
- 1- Their experience.
- 2- Their knowledge and wisdom.
- 3- Their contacts.
- 4- Their time and energy.
- 5- Their insight, counsel as well as compassion, understanding and feedback.
These people don’t necessarily have to be in the same business, have the same interests or have been successful in their chosen field. What a mentor brings to the mentor/mentee relationship is insight, feedback, integrity, a willingness to help and genuine concern for the mentee.
The mentor always gains something in this relationship, but it isn’t always apparent what it is.
You don’t need hundreds of mentors. Just one can accelerate your career, two can skyrocket it, and three can keep you learning and growing nonstop and lead you to the mountaintop.
I suggest you look through all of your contacts – past and present – and see if you can find someone who you can ask if they would be willing to be your mentor. If the person is a thousand miles away, there are telephones and E-mail. A mentor doesn’t have to live next door.
The key to a successful mentor/mentee relationship is setting the ground rules up front as to each person’s roles, expectations, agendas, time use, accountability and feedback.
The right mentor can save you time, energy and money. They can challenge your thinking, hold you accountable and help you reach your goals.
Find someone who can help you and take advantage of his or her insight, experience and knowledge.
Keep in mind, a mentor will not: do the work for you or make excuses for you. Their role is only a coach or counselor.
A mentor can accelerate your career, save you the trial and error approach and generally add a wealth of experience to your cause, no matter what it might be.
Napoleon Hill called it a ‘Mastermind’ Group’. Surround yourself with people who can and want to help you not people who are filled, with; envy, jealousy, insecurity or arrogance or a big ego.
Find a group that you can get involved with that could be a mentor for you? There is someone out there who could help you by sharing his or her time and wisdom with you. Surround yourself with like-minded people. If you don’t want to start a group, find someone you know who can contribute to your career in some way. Find a mentor and
begin learning, growing from other peoples’ experience. Also, don’t underestimate the personal development opportunity to be someone else’s mentor.
Who are your role models? Your heroes? Do you even have any? I believe one of the problems we have in society today is that we lack positive role models who influence us in a healthy way. Just look at many of the successful people today in: sports, entertainment, politics, business and religion. You don’t have to look very far to find numerous examples of – negative role models. So why bother having a hero or role model? Role models can help us a great deal as we move through our careers, relationships and lives. They can:
- 1. Offer us a standard of behavior.
- 2. Show us how to maintain proper direction in our life.
- 3. Help us avoid costly mistakes.
- 4. Teach us through their experiences.
- 5. Save us time.
- 6. Accelerate our careers.
- 7. Help us achieve our goals and life purpose.
Some of my mentors are:
- -Will Rogers for his wit.
- -Oswald Chambers for his spiritual insight.
- -Abraham Lincoln for his character.
- -Mark Twain for his candor.
- -Winston Churchill for his courage.
- -Red Skelton for his humor.
Why not take some time and think about who you:
- -Relate to
- -Believe in
- -Want to learn from
Then learn as much about them as you can so you can develop a model for what you would like to learn from them, emulate or avoid.
Author: Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, relationship, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 3500 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 60 books including; He can be reached at email@example.com, 704-895-1230 or visit his website at http://www.timconnor.com
From CMA: You can find great mentors among the membership of CMA. Through Industry Credit Groups, Credit Professional Groups, attending educational events and so much more. Visit credit services.org for more information.