An Art of the Question Blog
How am I investing in others?
Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing others.
— John Maxwell
John has a passion. He wants you to be the very best you can possibly be. That is the mark of a true leader. A real leader wants others to grow into the best version of themselves. John is a master at this.
John Maxwell invests in others. He does it by writing books (50+ and counting!). He does it by speaking (to millions and millions). He does it by radio, TV, the internet, DVD, CD…you get the picture.
How about you? How are you investing in others? Perhaps you haven’t yet written a book or been on TV. Maybe you don’t have a blog or a website or even a business card. But you can invest. You can become involved in a mentoring relationship.
According to ancient Greek legend, a king named Odysseus went to war. He entrusted the care of his son to a close friend named Mentor. The word “mentor”, used to describe a wise and trusted counselor, thus became a part of our language.
Another interesting bit of trivia is related to the word “protégé”. This word comes from the an old French word which means “to protect.”
Mentoring is critical in the life of a leader. From King Arthur, whose mentor was Merlin the magician, to Timothy, who grew into a strong leader under the mentoring of the Apostle Paul, history is filled with story after story of mentors and protégés. Former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop was mentored by a typographer!
There are two keys to every successful person. The first is that they have a mentor. A mentor is someone who helps sort options and identifies opportunities. A mentor gives advice and perhaps most importantly – perspective.
The second key is to be a mentor. Every one of us can mentor someone. It doesn’t take a lot of money or even time. It basically means that you meet with them periodically and discuss what is going on in their business or family or life, and offer expertise, perspective and advice if asked. I have the good fortune of having several mentors. I have the great fortune of having several friends that I also mentor. And you want to know a secret? I learn as much from those I am mentoring as I learn from those who mentor me!
There are several mentoring models. Find the one that works for you.
Traditional: In this model, there is a mentor and someone being mentored. Don’t have a mentor? Ask. You may be surprised to find that the person you most admire would be honored to work with you.
Peer – to – Peer: In this model, each participant is a co-mentor. They work together, each bringing their particular skill set to the process. An example of this might be a sales expert in a Peer-to-Peer mentorship with an IT person. Each is in a position to help the other.
Group: In the Group Model, several people meet. One of the popular versions of this is the Group-of-Ten in which 10 people meet regularly to discuss current projects, issues, and provide insight and advice.
Pick a model, or try all three. The important thing to remember is that none of us are as smart as all of us. Investing in others is a great way to not only influence others, but we ourselves grow as a result.
Who would you like to have as your mentor?
Who are you currently mentoring? What can you do to begin a mentoring relationship within the next week?
For a free copy of Keys to Effective Mentoring, send an email to Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org.