What are your long-term reasons for doing everything that you do?
What are you hoping to accomplish?
In a professional and career sense, we are all generally looking for new ways to expand our knowledge, sharpen our skill sets, and establish financial stability. But have you given much thought to your legacy?
While you may have considered it to some degree, it’s normal for the item that falls short of instant gratification to be pushed to the very bottom of our lengthy task list. However, in honor of National Mentorship Month, we feel that it’s necessary to hone in on this very important -and very fulfilling – role.
Paying it Forward
The legacy of mentorship lives on through those who are lucky enough to be mentored themselves.
To build myself into the position I am in today, I cannot emphasize the gratitude I have for the experiences I have shared with my previous mentors and mentees. Because of my own wonderful interactions with mentorship, I know that it’s my responsibility to carry it forward by sharing lessons, insight, and wisdom with anyone that will listen.
Coach Vs. Mentor
Before moving any further, It’s important to distinguish the differences between coaching and mentoring. If you aren’t sure, here is some clarification…
Coaching: Usually performed by a peer or a hired professional, coaching is essentially short term skill building.
Mentorship: A relationship between two people where the individual with more experience, knowledge, and connections is able to pass along what they have learned to a more junior individual.
Mentoring can help compliance professionals during all types of challenges and obstacles. If you have read any of our previous career articles and posts so far, you may have gathered that our MCDA CCG team has a strong focus on authentic leadership. If you are new here I will list a few below for you to check out…
- Effective Listening as a Leader
- What Is Your Leadership Type In Today’s Dynamic Workplace?
- 7 Must Watch Leadership Movies To Learn From
- Employees Who Think They Know Everything & How To Coach Them
- Communicating a Merger to Employees- Leadership Approaches
- Employee Development & Why It is Beneficial
Being a mentor and finding a mentor are both difficult and, sometimes, could even be awkward. Nevertheless, both are equally fulfilling.
Finding a Mentor
Let’s be honest: finding the right mentor is an intentional process that can feel exceptionally intimidating – to the point where you would rather not take any action. This is where you must get comfortable with being uncomfortable; find opportunities to connect with someone, whether it be a manager, colleague, or another person you know that models what you value.
Your mission of finding a mentor can really take place anywhere. Whether it’s in or outside the work environment, keep in mind that good mentors are successful, experienced and busy.
Many possible mentors are eager to bring on mentees – but they need to believe you truly want to succeed. They need to believe from the beginning you are going to persevere through challenges and take advice with an open mind and a desire to execute with determination.
People are not born with the ability to embrace the mystery involved in the risk-based decisions of life, therefore mentorship and authentic leadership can be of great value to developing those skills. Learning from the best and developing your skills are imperative to climbing the ladder of success.
If you decide officially to seek a mentor, you should start with a self-appraisal that involves asking yourself tough questions that require honest answers. These questions can include the following:
- What are my strengths?
- What are my weaknesses?
- What skills do I want to learn?
- What are my ultimate goals?
- How much time do I have to dedicate to a mentor-mentee relationship?
- What is my learning style?
- What skills do I possess now?
In honestly answering these questions, you will have started the process of recruiting the mentor that fits your style, work-life balance and mission. Do not stop seeking a mentor—persistence is key. No matter what industry or profession you are in, you have to be proactive to find a mentor.
Becoming and Being a Mentor
Becoming a mentor is one of the most fulfilling roles that experienced professionals can have. You get to see firsthand the development of someone you truly care about and guide them through all or distinct phases of life through which we all transition. Similar to finding a mentor, those who wish to mentor must be diligent when choosing your mentee.
Just as mentees need to ask themselves questions about their intentions and dedication, mentors need to be aware of their ability to provide the resources and time to their mentees. A strong mentor-mentee relationship needs to be genuine and established on trust.
Mentors must decide to take on this responsibility for the right and genuine reasons.
Mentorship and authentic leadership will help to inspire and further create resilient professionals. It is often said that people do not leave companies- they leave bosses, therefore, mentorship can help maintain the integrity of a specific culture.
In addition, mentors themselves find personal fulfillment and joy, a sense of purpose and, possibly, a higher stature, opportunities and respect.
If you are looking for a mentor or to become one yourself, we applaud your efforts. Your desire to give out or seek direction, support and leadership will help to inspire a new generation of leaders who care about the success of others in addition to their own.
So, if you are looking for a mentor, do it because you expect to be a mentor yourself one day.
The world will be a better place for it and so will the legacy you leave.