Mentorship is one of the noblest forms of giving to someone else to help them in their personal pursuit of excellence that we can do as a generous person. We live in a time when the younger generations are dying for it as well. This is one area in which millennials are begging for our help in, and we often don’t understand, realize, or meet those expectations for them. And we want to look to apply mentorship principles to them as best we can. Sometimes as we grow, we grow tires, we grow weak, and we grow weary given past experiences, having others fail us, and having others disrespect us. But we must get past the short term and long term past and move forward. And for others beginning to mentor, we often overestimate what we can do in the short term and underestimate what we can do in the long term. For effective mentorship, keep these 3 things following in mind.
Mentorship is not only an opportunity to nurture and grow someone else but an opportunity for us to grow. Every time you coach someone, you are giving yourself an opportunity to sharpen your own mind. One of my first and greatest mentors, Wade Taylor, told me one time, “Nels, I know you are thankful for all I have done for you, but you don’t understand all you have done for me.” And when he first said those words, I did not understand them at all. But as life grows, I began to realize what those words meant. Growing others grows us through a “relit” fire and a renewed challenging of ourselves.
Mentorship is about not just growing a person, but about growing and building confidence. We all navigated the world in a virgin way, and many of us lacked confidence in taking small or big steps forward in taking the risk to take that new job or going out on a limb and starting a new business. We can’t just tell someone to be confident. It takes time, intentional conversation on growth, and motivating them and building them. It starts as a seed you have to grow. You have to plant the seed, water the seed, add some sunshine, and help it grow.
Mentorship is asking them to be a lifelong humble learner and knowing you are what you consume and the tribe you belong to. The only way one is different 5 years from now is by the people you meet and the books you read. Leaders are readers and our tribe greatly influence who we are. As I tell my kids, you hang around with losers, you will be a loser. You hang around winners, you will be a winner, and Lindberg’s are winners. Who is your tribe and are they challenging you to dig deeper and be better?
Through these things, we must understand effective mentorship takes time. We can’t forget that short-term satisfaction always gives up long-term gains. And that we don’t want to overestimate what we can do in the short term. Effective mentorship takes time. We plant the seed, water the seed, add some sunshine, and help it grow. We must have patience and not underestimate what we can do in the long term. I had a young man tell me yesterday, that he, “could not have been in any other practice in the state and been ready to buy a practice after two years. That just isn’t supposed to happen.” But after two years, hours of conversation, days of the attitude of “more is caught than is taught”, and he is ready. Mentor with passion and a fire in your belly to change the life of that person, and you just might do it! Happy Leadership Thursday!! Cheers Amigos!