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4 Things I Wish I Knew 10 Years Ago About Finding a Mentor
If I could go back in time, these are the 4 things I wish I knew about finding a mentor. (It would have saved me and my mentor a lot of wasted time and effort.)
1. Don’t try to find a mentor.
A mentoring relationship should come naturally for maximum gain. You follow somebody, they resonate with you, you got similar values and then you connect. Trying to find a mentor at random will only create frustration and misalignment.
2. Offer something in exchange that might appeal to them.
Whether paid or unpaid mentorship, the mentor will be much more engaged when they will also receive not give e.g. you doing the hard work and progressing based on the exchange, they learn from your context and experiments.
3. Know what you need or the direction you want to explore
Don’t come empty handed. Know what topics you want to explore or at least where are you lost and would need a nudge. This saves time for both parties. If this is hard to define try coaching instead to dig deeper.
4. Think about mentoring in a context when you advance with your knowledge and skills
There are no mentors that know everything. It’s best to have passive or active mentors in different fields within your industry or niche. Let me explain more. 👇🏼
If you want to develop as a servant leader you might look for leaders who e.g. are great in navigating conflict, developing a certain role in your organisation or becoming more a more compassionate person. This instead of finding somebody that will assist you in everything.
You might also ask what are passive and active mentors?
Passive mentorship — you digest someone’s articles, videos or attend their meetups. You learn from what they publish.
Active mentorship — you establish a 1–1 relationship with them that is focused on helping you level-up.
Would you add something to the list? What worked for you in this process of leveling-up? Eager to hear your thoughts.