The most successful leaders embrace the power of knowing they don’t know everything.
In any business, there is nothing that turns your team against you faster than never being able to admit that you got it wrong.
As human beings, we are continually growing and learning; holding a leadership position should not be the catalyst for halting your learning journey. Finding a mentor who will be a positive inspiration for your career is a great way to develop yourself.
And there are many benefits to mentorship you might not be aware of, which we will go through in this article. I have come up with 11 so far, and I wonder which ones will resonate with you most?
1. To Get Objective Advice
A mentor, while they might be connected to your role or your career somehow, should ideally be someone who doesn’t have a conflict of interests with your personal success. This way, you can get objective, unbiased advice about your career and life-based decisions.
Reach out to industry professionals you have connections with on LinkedIn to find a mentor with the right mix of familiarity but not too close for comfort.
2. To Gain A New Perspective
As your mentor might be a different age to you, this will enable them to present a different perspective to help you see things from outside of your bubble.
We all form close working and personal relationships with people who are ‘like’ us – introducing someone with a different world view into your circle is a great way to broaden your perspective.
3. To Help You Develop Your Current Strengths
It is common that the things we are best at, we do every day without celebration or pride.
But when we overlook the things that we excel at – be it excellent motivational skills, the ability to unite a team or great organisational capabilities, we overlook developing them.
Your mentor will be able to objectively spot your strengths and encourage you to build on them too.
4. For Someone to Trust
Some leaders who carry the responsibility of their team’s success on their shoulders suffer from lack of trust.
The weight of being a leader can sometimes feel as though you’ve got no-one to trust, but trust in leadership – just like in any other relationship – is key.
Leaders who suffer from an inability to trust people will greatly benefit from a mentoring relationship. It will allow you to share your challenges with someone, and over time will enable you to see the value in trusting others deeply, something which is much harder to achieve in leadership without a mentor.
5. It Can Save You Time
Time is something we all wish we had more of – and having a mentor can make it feel like you’ve got more time.
Instead of pondering a certain challenge for hours (or days, even) talking it through with your mentor will allow you to come to an answer much faster – they might have even been through the same challenge themselves and can give you a fresh perspective.
6. To Motivate You
Your team look to you to help inspire them to do their best work – but where do leaders get their inspiration from?
The saying ‘it’s lonely at the top’ exists for a reason – even the most accomplished leaders need to get their inspiration from somewhere – and a mentor who has been in their position several years before is the best place to find this inspiration.
7. To Build Your Confidence
As a leader, confidence is something that your team will assume you have in unfaltering amounts – this is not always the case.
Even the most experienced leaders can suffer from a crisis of confidence – and it can be made worse by being alone when a crisis strikes.
Having a supportive mentor means having someone to talk to and be reassured during times when you doubt yourself.
8. For Specific Leadership Challenges
Your mentor will be to help you develop skills to overcome specific leadership challenges to your team and your organisation.
Going back to what I said at the start – no one leader knows everything, no matter how accomplished and experienced they are. Approaching specific leadership challenges with the help of a mentor is the best way to help you help your team and get the best results faster.
9. For Learning and Development in a Cost-Effective Way
Structured programmes have their time and place in L&D, but a mentor can help you in a more subtle and understated way.
They provide you with continual development in ways that you might not even realise, with personal skills, mindset shifts and valuable anecdotes.
10. To Grow Your Network
Having a mentor is an excellent way to expand your network – they can open doors you might not even know existed!
Raising your profile can help you develop your career in all kinds of ways, from opening doors within your own company to future career prospects.
Want to grow your network beyond the connections of your colleagues and peers? Get a mentor.
11. Even the Animal Kingdom Understands the Importance of Mentoring
And finally, in the complicated human world, it often pays to take a step back and look to nature to guide us – the natural world very rarely gets it wrong.
Mentorship is an essential part of the upbringing of elephants; older and wiser elephants in the pack help raise the young – it’s not left entirely to the parents. Elephants are some of the most intelligent creatures on the planet, and they understand the value of passing down knowledge and information through the generations.
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About Excel Communications
LEARN, GROW, SUCCEED
Excel Communications is a learning and development consultancy based near London in the U.K. For more than 30 years; we have been collaborating with clients across the globe.
Partnering with Excel empowers you to evolve your people and business by fuelling a love for learning.
We work with you to create unforgettable, customised learning experiences to achieve your vision of success and growth, with tangible results.
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We have a team of expert trainers delivering programmes across five continents in multiple languages. Call us now on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.
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