Do you need a mentor in this digital age?

Do you need a mentor?

These days it’s easy to assume that self-improvement and development can be achieved simply by listening to a motivational podcast on the way to work or the latest inspirational 5-minute video at lunch time.

Whilst having access to this kind of material is certainly beneficial it can’t replace the significant improvements that are only possible with a personal mentor.The ‘quick-fix’ is indeed an appealing prospect but, in truth, true personal growth can only be achieved with real reflection and analysis.  This kind of perspective is exactly what a mentor provides.

What do Steve Jobs, Sir Richard Branson and Larry Page, three of the most influential leaders of recent times, all have in common?  Every one of these successful people benefited from the guidance of mentors during their careers.

Mentoring is a developmental partnership where knowledge, skills, information and perspective developed over years of experience are shared to foster the personal and professional growth of another individual.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself”

Leo Tolstoy

Engaging a mentor is not an acknowledgment of weakness it actually shows a high degree of maturity and self-awareness.  The ability to realise that you always have the potential to learn and grow, regardless of how much experience or knowledge you have, is the first step on a journey which can have limitless possibilities.  Imagine how empowering it is to open your mind to new ideas and to see yourself flourish.

An experienced mentor provides a safe and supportive environment that facilitates self-confidence and the courage to stretch yourself to achieve more than you thought possible.

The benefits of having a mentor can often include greater self-esteem, work promotions, increased business influence, leadership opportunities and improved working relationships.

“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could” 

Author and businessman, Zig Ziglar

Having a mentor throughout your career is a valuable asset to your growth. Mentoring provides:

Personal Support, tailored to your needs - one-on-one, regular, critical feedback to support your growth and increase self-awareness, self-discipline and commitment to personal goals.

Perspective and Experience – an impartial adviser can open your mind to new possibilities by expanding your view of what you can achieve and defining the journey to reach your vision.

Impartial and Objective Advice – a trusted mentor can be a truly confidential sounding board by providing a safe space to discuss work issues and brainstorm solutions.

Enhanced Communication and Interpersonal Skills – build your personal brand and learn how to manage stakeholders at all levels and in all business situations.

Maximise Your Strengths – understand your unique qualities through self-assessment and build a roadmap to fully utilse your talents.  Build the knowledge and skills to develop leadership and influence at work.

Define and Reach Long-Term Goals - a mentor can help you establish your development goals and define your career path ensuring that you don’t lose focus even when you become distracted by day-to-day pressures.

So who can typically benefit from having a mentor?

Individuals looking to grow and develop to achieve personal success - so, in short, everyone.

Leaders looking to develop their teams with non-operational skills that will enhance their individual and collective performance.

Effective mentoring is essential if you are looking for a promotion, a new job, more responsibility, greater influence, increased self-confidence, improved self-esteem, building a personal brand or planning a lasting legacy.

Deciding to use a personal mentor is one of the most progressive and enlightened judgments you will ever make in your career so make sure you choose wisely.

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living — if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way.  A mentor.”

Denzel Washington

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