Even the most successful mentors have mentors. Here are two successful entrepreneurs who have mentors. Richard Bronson, the owner of Virgin Airline, highlighted that his mentor, Sir Freddie Laker the owner of Lakers Airways, advised him to “Use yourself and make a fool of yourself, otherwise you won’t survive.” Meaning don’t take yourself seriously. Another successful entrepreneur with a mentor is Bill Gates. He is a philanthropist and owner of Microsoft. His mentor is Warren Buffet. He taught him to “Learn more and laugh more.”
A mentor is someone who is your champion. He/she is there to show you the ropes and accelerate your learning. A mentor always aims to add value to his/her mentee by sharing knowledge and experience.
The mentor/mentee relationship is based on mutual respect. It is worth noting that the mentee owns the relationship. The relationship can be formal, meaning it was organized through a program, or informal in which you met or know someone you respect and trust and you want to learn something about which the person is the subject-matter expert.
- Trust is the foundation of the relationship. The mentor needs to be built over time and mutual trust must be established. They must have a vested interest in getting to know each other.
- Establish short- and long-term goals. This is essential to the success of the relationship.
- Lastly, collaborate to help solve problems. The mentors need to allow the mentees the opportunity to identify concern and potential solutions.
In my experience, the best mentor and mentee relationship is when I know that my mentor cared about me and took the time to listen. Listening a big part of mentoring. I have multiple mentors because of the things I aim to learn and improve upon. It is important that, as a mentee, I own the relationship and I need to be mindful of the time my mentor is spending; therefore, I always have to come prepared.
To close, the benefits of mentoring can help you grow and develop. It enables you to experiment and work on problems within a safe and supportive environment. And finally, the mentee can accelerate his/her growth through learning under the mentor. If you don’t have one, find a mentor and expand your knowledge.