Rule #1 in my book The System is Unforgiving is “Seek, identify, and appreciate your mentors. They have been put in your life to push you to greatness.”
The main reason a mentor can be valuable is to provide you with someone to bounce your ideas off of to make sure that you’re thinking on the right track. So many people believe that they know everything and only get themselves in trouble, so having someone that’s been down the road that you’re trying to go down can give you some sound and sage advice and wisdom.
When someone sees something in you that you don’t see in yourself, they highlight the observation. They will teach you that you have skills you’re not applying, or you have traits you’re missing. Understanding this aspect of yourself will help you become a better person. This will push you to greatness.
The best way to look for a mentor is to not look for a mentor. If you’re doing the right things and working hard to accomplish your goals a mentor will spot you and ask to be your mentor. This is one way to do it, however, if you know someone that you trust and admire and know that can give you an unbiased view certainly you can ask them to be your mentor. The focus behind having a good mentor is to have someone that only has your best intentions at heart. This is another very important aspect of this fulfillment.
Qualities to look for in a mentor include:
- A good mentor sets an example.
- They would not ask you to do something that they are not willing to do themselves.
- They would not share something with you that they have not learned themselves.
Trust is a big aspect of finding a good mentor, again it’s important to find someone that sees the good in you but has an unbiased approach. You want to be very careful of someone trying to push in the direction that you do not want to go. A good mentor allows you to go in your own direction and only provides you with guidance to help you perfect what it is that you’re trying to accomplish.
Much of this advice for finding a mentor can also be applied to mentoring others. You can be a good mentor by holding yourself accountable for the things that you would expect someone to teach you. You must be willing to be ready to teach them. A good mentor does not judge and does not try to persuade others to do something they are not willing to do or do not want to do. Therefore if you’re a good mentor you do not do that to others. A good mentor has great listening skills to listen to what is being said, provide feedback. A good mentors give you solid recommendations – not necessarily advice but food for thought.