When less seasoned professionals want to get ahead in their industry, they often look to the support of mentors to provide guidance. Mentoring is as old as business itself, but its methods have changed along with technology advancements. Today’s mentors are made up of many experienced professionals who are leaders in their occupations and whom have a lot to offer to the upcoming generation of leaders.
Mentoring allows the transfer of information from one professional to another, so that best industry standards and practices are passed down. In this way, leaders are actually building up leadership skills in others, one relationship at a time. Mentoring works because this is the way humans learn and flourish as a society. Mutual respect and concern are at the heart of all human relationships, which facilitates the passing of information from one business professional to another.
As less experienced business people are matched up to the right mentors, they are automatically tapped into a huge “database” of information from their mentor. This can include technical and career skills as well as other more personal aspects of being a professional. By learning from the mistakes and experiences of others, young leaders gain a great deal of insight and have a safety net to fall back on as they learn to take on their role in the business world.
To make mentoring work, it’s important to remain open-minded and just let things flow as they come along. A structured mentoring program can provide some support, but in many cases since people learn from real experiences as they encounter them, this is when the most information is transferred. Be sure to schedule regular mentoring sessions however so that this relationship results in some true leadership building.
Mentoring can be a valuable asset to anyone’s career, at any level. What was once reserved for those within specific powerful industries is now available to anyone who wishes to take advantage of this arrangement. From mentors who give new solo entrepreneurs advice, to CEO’s leading the way for new executives, you’ll find many ways to benefit from a mentoring relationship.
An excellent resource for either finding a business mentor or to become one yourself is on the Inc. website here. Also be sure to check with your local Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, and other business networking groups to find out more about mentorship. You can also learn more about mentoring’s benefits when you attend an upcoming Leadership Training for Managers course.
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