Go! Be A Mentor, Drive Results and Become A Leader

It’s February 13, the day before Valentine’s Day and each year, I celebrate this day with a heart-shaped cake and the singing of a traditional song.

Noooo….It’s not because I celebrate Valentine’s Day-Eve, its because I celebrate a birthday! My mother’s!! So, I thought it only appropriate that she be the inspiration for my post today.

So, how does this relate to digital marketing or business? Well, having a mother is one of the things that links all of humankind. Both literally and theoretically, we were all brought forth from someone else. To enter adulthood, we needed a helping hand, a guiding light and a nurturing source. I am amazingly blessed to have The Saint of all saints for a mother and consider it a true privilege to have had a powerful source of inspiration that taught me to go hungrily after my passions and never see the impossible. Furthermore, as a teacher by nature and trade, she always stressed the importance of sharing knowledge and joyfully helping others.

Authentic-Leadership

As I age, I notice, both personally and professionally, the disparity amongst younger folks these days, who, at alarming rates, tend to lack well-defined skill sets, social graces, interpersonal skills and the strong sense of integrity that I assumed came with the territory of adulthood. I fully embrace the diversity of our world and revel in the strength it brings us as a nation of people. But from a business perspective, it’s disconcerting that our churn is so significant that we would consider it a waste of time to simply interact. I find it appalling that we don’t reach out and build better relationships, but deliberately isolate these individuals, invisibly marking them as easy prey in our respective, competitive campaigns for personal success and glory.

One of the great travesties that I see in today’s workplace is the lack of a guiding figure that plays an integral role in one’s professional and personal development. A mentor.

Let me be clear- I’m describing a formal relationship that both parties enter with the shared goal of a long-term,close interaction. I’m not talking about just a boss, a trainer or a co-worker. While a mentor can certainly hold one of those titles and all of those roles carry great influence, I’m referring specifically to one who plays a sacred role in the life of a young{ish} professional.Mentor-Diagram

I heard once that we should always eagerly seek out a leader we admire with the intent of one day being able to take his/her place. I would like to add that maybe this should be viewed with a different lens.

Ambition is great and absolutely vital to survival in our dog-eat-dog world. But instead of planning a subtly, hostile takeover of our senior executives, should we not be focusing our attentions elsewhere? Who we will bring along with us? Who we will commit to truly nurture and guide this year? Who will we actively develop for success in life in general and not just to successfully maintain our legacy?

These are not popular ideas because they require an investment of Time and of Self. But, the ROI {return on investment} ! If we spent an hour developing an employee instead of cleaning up his mess, we would reap long term, sustainable results.

Nobody goes to work and says “I want to do a really awful job today”. But, it happens {too many times} when fresh talent bounds through the door, eager to absorb, digest and contribute, but then is left hanging out to dry; making their own way down a thorny path. I contend that this is a true waste of resources and senior level managers should proactively engage their teams to seek out a mentor, if no one is knocking on the door. Enable them to find a good fit! Facilitate a valuable introduction! 

A leader never has to tell others to follow…they just do. If we each focused on what positive change we can affect in our respective worlds by mentoring another, our workplaces would overflow with increased productivity, fresh ideas, increased value adds and eventually streams of revenue. And we would become leaders…by default.

I encourage you to be enriched by sharing experiences with another and to reach out to share your best practices with someone today. Don’t put this off. Even a small effort can have a ripple effect. Regardless of your industry, it can be a rewarding experience to impact the career of another. {Chances are that you will even be recognized by your seniors as the go-to guy for employee engagement and be promoted.}

With that, I have a heart-shaped cake to eat and a song to sing. Happy Birthday, Mama!

 Did a mentor play a role in your professional development. How do you engage with younger professionals to share your best practices? Leave a comment with your experiences as a mentor or mentee.

You are reading , Go! Be A Mentor, Drive Results and Become A Leader originally posted on PollySentrick. If you’ve enjoyed this post, join us and check out PollySentrick on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest.

Sources

Authentic-Leadership. Digital image. Http://smartwomensmoney.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.

Mentor-Diagram. Digital image. Http://happygolegal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Mentor-Diagram.jpg. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.