Six Steps To Extreme Mentoring
If you have accrued a wealth of industry experience, you may have been approached about mentoring someone. Or perhaps you have helped several mentees gain their footing and reach new goals over the course of your career. Mentoring typically involves helping the mentee grow and develop personally and professionally. However, leadership expert and bestselling author Steve Farber challenges leaders to expect more out of the mentoring relationship. He asserts that leaders should approach mentoring with a goal to develop other leaders who will surpass them in skill, influence and ability. Farber wants mentor leaders to help mentees rise to a greater level than themselves.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we explore Farber's six steps to extreme mentoring.
1. Start smart. Farber says leaders may have many "Greater Than Yourself" (GTY) projects, but it's best to start small. Choose someone you trust and believe in-someone who stands to benefit from your unique experiences, skills, values and network. It's important to select a mentee with the drive, energy, heart and desire to take full advantage of the experience.
2. Forget the hype. Don't try to sell a potential mentee on the mentoring relationship. Tell him or her what you'd like to give and what you expect. Be upfront and ensure the person is up for the GTY project.
3. Plug them in. Farber encourages leaders to work their way through their network of contacts and make a list of everyone who could potentially bring value to their GTY. Make the appropriate connections and don't hold back. Remember that the more you give, the bigger the opportunities for real, lasting success.
4. Become a raving fan. You already know your GTY's talent and value, so advocating for them should be easy. Talk them up whenever you get the chance. When they experience success, be the first to congratulate them. Don't just take advantage of opportunities to sing their praise; create those opportunities.
5. Don't be afraid of tough love. Encouraging words are great to hear as long as they are true. Tough love, on the other hand, isn't always so easy. As a mentor, it's important that you hold your mentee accountable to their goals and aspirations. When done with respect, tough truth can make a powerful difference.
6. Insist on one condition. When you commit to mentoring at this level, it's essentially a selfless act. You don't expect anything in return for your knowledge, guidance and effort. However, you expect your protégé to invest at the same level. Insist that your mentee take on someone else as a GTY project of their own. Make sure they pay it forward.
Both parties stand to benefit in a traditional mentor-mentee relationship. You can share your wisdom and the mentee can receive needed guidance or answers. But to maximize your impact as a leader, Farber encourages you to set your goals much higher. Consider if every leader took the time to help someone become greater than himself or herself. The results would spread fast and far.
Source: Steve Farber is founder of The Extreme Leadership Institute and the bestselling author of The Radical Leap, The Radical Edge and Greater Than Yourself.