Every leader needs advice from time to time. Maybe it’s about a new initiative you’re wanting to start at work. Maybe you’re looking to move to a whole different kind of work. Or maybe you’re wanting to have a better relationship with your family. The advice of someone who has already done what you’re wanting to do can go a long way to helping your succeed. Here are two types of mentors everyone needs:
Someone older than you.
This is probably a “No duh!” suggestion. It’s important to spend time with someone who is further down life’s road than you. Not only should they be older but they should be successful at the things you want to do. No one is great at everything so you may need to find a couple of older mentors (i.e. a work mentor, a marriage mentor, a parenting mentor, a health mentor, and others as needed). It’s always good with this kind of mentor to:
• Ask to buy them coffee or lunch while picking their brain.
• Come ready with questions.
• Arrive on time.
• Send them a handwritten thank you note after your time together.
If this goes well you may want to consider making it a monthly thing. You don’t need to call them your mentor or anything like that. All that matters is you respect their time, listen to what they have to say without debating, and show that you appreciate the investment they’ve made in your life and work.
Someone younger than you.
A “reverse” mentor can get you up to speed on new trends, pop culture, starting a social network account, etc. A reverse mentor is also great for getting honest feedback. They look at things differently from you and will offer valuable insight into what you are doing. I just turned 30 and I’ve got 2 reverse mentors right now (as well as being a reverse mentor to a few people myself). If you are over 40 consider finding a reverse mentor who will help you find a new way of doing things. It may be difficult but you’ll appreciate it later.
Question: Who are some of the mentors in your life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
2 thoughts on “2 Mentors Every Leader Needs”
Great thoughts Jeff! I try and practice both…having lunch with Nick Diliberto (PreTeenMinistry.net) on Friday and Justyn Smith (JustynSmith.com) on Monday. When are we going to get together?
Thanks for the feedback on the post Greg. I would love for us to connect in person. I’m in Victorville, CA so we’re not too far apart. Let me know when a good time is for you and I’m sure I can make it work, or what conferences in Southern California you’re going to be at and maybe we can meet there.