“Before you are a leader success is all about growing yourself, when you are a leader success is all about growing others” – Jack Welch
So why should you and why would you trouble yourself in making the effort, investing time and emotional capital in trying to mentor someone junior. Of course you should not. If you really feel that mentoring someone younger is a burden then is not worth it, please don’t do it because it will not work and will leave a bad taste in everybody’s mouth.
Let me however ask you a question. When you are 85 and looking back on your career and people are asked to summarize your achievements, which of the below statements would you prefer (you can only choose one of the two)
“John has been an amazing achiever. He beat the competition, doubled our market share, tripled the revenue of the company and quadrupled the profit. Shareholders loved him for dividend soared and made them rich”
“John was a real talent magnet; he attracted the best and no matter your ability he was able to help individuals grow beyond what they thought was possible. Whoever worked with him succeeded to bigger jobs and 10 of them became CEO’s of other large companies. They all recognize him for the impact he had on their career”
Personally I would choose the second example any time. Why? Simply because financial results are as lasting as the calendar they are made in. Ho Chi Minh, the founding father of modern Vietnam captured this beautifully when he said “to reap a return in 10 years plant trees, to reap a return in 100 years cultivate the people”.
Even if you are not driven by the desire to positively impact another person’s career, then here are some other reasons why you should consider mentoring:
1. Mentoring others accelerates your own career
First and foremost mentoring will accelerate your own career. Developing talent for most companies is a capability that they will carefully assess regarding the potential of a future leader. Your ability to attract, support and push mentees forward proves to your managers that you have the ability to not only deliver results, but also the talent needed to further grow the organization.
2. You will in return learn as well
Mentoring someone younger gives you the opportunity to learn from others. You will be challenged to stay on top of your game by teaching others. You get the opportunity to see the world from someone else’s perspective, you get an opportunity to stay in tune with what is ‘really’ happening in the organization and hopefully have an opportunity to get infused with new ideas as you will be stepping outside your normal circle of influence.
3. Build long lasting reciprocal relationships
Finally, mutual beneficial mentoring relationships last a life time. Giving the opportunity to help each other out over a long period of time will at some point in time prove that you would appreciate if your mentee could mentor you.
Senior managers will share their knowledge and experience and in turn the junior upcoming talent will bring to your table innovative and new ideas to allow you to be the best you can be!
Next week I will write about how to make a mentoring relationship work for both parties.
– Paul Keijzer