How to Find a Mentor

We’ve discussed how important it is to  develop your vision as a leader, but what you do with that vision is just as important. Yet, at times, we may not know how to get from point A to point B. Or we develop a plan to achieve our vision, only to be derailed when circumstances change. 

While pursuing our vision can bring satisfaction with accomplishments, the uncharted territory we need to cross to realize it can be daunting. The journey may be loaded with challenges, pain, and frustration. How do we navigate this unfamiliar terrain?

In our pursuit of growth, we might seek advice from our community, peers, friends, partners, or family members. Their empathy and understanding can provide comfort, but their experiences and biases often influence their advice. They usually lack the context or direct experience with your industry. While well-intentioned, it may not always lead to sustainable solutions. 

So, where should an emerging leader turn for counsel that will help move them towards their goals? 


The Missing Piece: A Mentor

Enter the mentor. A mentor is not an idol you worship; instead, they are someone within reach who has been in the trenches and can provide an informed perspective. They’re often at the later stages of their careers with decades of experience and insights. 

What makes a mentor truly valuable? It’s not just their achievements but their journey—the path they’ve walked, the challenges they’ve faced, and the victories they’ve celebrated. 

Here’s why finding a mentor is crucial to becoming a true growth leader:

  • Shared Background and Challenges: A mentor has likely overcome similar obstacles and understands the nuances of your journey. Whether it’s a parallel career path, a comparable personality, or shared ambitions, their insights are rooted in firsthand wins and losses.
  • Efficiency and Effectiveness: Mentors can distil their learnings into practical wisdom. They know the shortcuts, the pitfalls, and the most efficient routes to success. Their guidance helps you avoid unnecessary detours and wasted effort while helping you see your challenges in a different light.
  • Sustainable Advice: Unlike well-meaning friends or family, mentors provide sustainable advice. They don’t just empathize; they help you think through problems and develop actionable strategies. Their counsel is grounded in results and long-term growth.

How to Choose a Mentor 

How do you find the right mentor? Consider these steps:

  1. Define Your Goals: Clarify what you want to achieve. Is it professional success, personal growth, or a specific skill? Knowing your destination helps you identify the right guide.
  2. Research: Look for mentors who resonate with your aspirations. Seek out individuals who have achieved what you aim for. Their success story should inspire you.
  3. Compatibility: Beyond achievements, assess compatibility. A mentor should understand your context, challenges, and personality. Shared values and communication styles matter.
  4. Reach Out: Don’t hesitate to approach potential mentors. Express your admiration and desire to learn from them. Be respectful of their time and boundaries.
  5. Offer Compensation: While this might be monetary, it doesn’t have to be. Invite them to lunch or coffee. Offer to help them with a problem they’re facing and expand their network in any way you can. 


How a Mentor Can Impact Your Growth

Finding a high-quality mentor will likely profoundly impact your growth as a leader and, hopefully, your business. 

Your mentor should be a beacon, guiding you towards your goals. They should bring clarity to your vision while helping you better understand where you’re headed and how to navigate the twists and turns. 

Armed with insights from your mentor, you will be able to proceed with confidence. Challenges no longer intimidate you; they become stepping stones. Whether it’s a daunting project, a career transition, or personal growth, your mentor’s wisdom will bolster your ability to tackle obstacles head-on, knowing you’re not alone.

Seasoned mentors have been in your shoes and have both stumbled and triumphed. They can guide you away from unnecessary detours and pitfalls while helping you to streamline your efforts and arrive at tangible outcomes. Seek their wisdom, embrace their lessons, and let their knowledge guide you on your path to growth. 


Are you looking for a mentor? I’d love to help you. Book a coaching session to discuss your challenges and develop a growth plan! Or sign up for my Growth Leadership Program

Either way, I’m here to support you! 
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