Daily Archives: September 19, 2007

So, You Want a Mentor?

“Always two there are, no more, no less: a master and an apprentice.”
– Yoda

Two years ago I decided that I needed a mentor. I needed someone at my company to help shepherd me, to help me grow as a person and as a professional. I did not look to a boss or friends (co-workers) – I wanted my own Yoda.

I asked someone that I held in high esteem and who was well-respected in my company – an individual I thought I could learn a lot from. When I asked the question, “Would you consider being my mentor?” I was asked a question in return. My future mentor asked me what I was looking for in a mentor.

Fortunately I had answers to the question. I was looking for a mentor to help me develop my full potential. Specifically:

• Build my confidence and trust in myself
• Empower me to see what I could do
• Help me chart a path to career growth
• Challenge me
• Stimulate my learning with no pressure
• Share personal experiences
• Teach me something
• Explain things
• Offer a different perspective
• Listen, understand and be a confidant
• Help me identify and work with my strengths and weaknesses

Before you start making a short list of people you’d want to be your mentor, you need to conduct a self-exploration exercise. You need to determine what you’re looking for in a mentor. When you have fully acknowledged the areas you’re looking to develop, then you can go about finding the best person to make that happen.

Tomorrow, I will explore the top qualities of a good mentor.