What is a Mentor?

Recently more information can be found on the internet about mentoring.  To accompany the data, there’s many questions about the subject.  Although mentors existed twenty and more years ago, they weren’t in the lime light as they are now.

Here’s an except from an article I just read:
“Successful people have mentors. A mentor is a person that shows you how to do something that you want to do, but don’t know how to. I have been saved from many failures because of mentors but I have also had many failures from not listening to my mentors!” Grant Cardone

So, how did mentoring get to be so popular and what is this subject all about?

If you search online, you’ll find several definitions for ‘mentor’ such as experienced and trusted advisor or a person that has an expertise in an area that can train you.  However, those definitions sound interchangeable with ‘teacher’ or ‘coach’ which aren’t the correct concepts at all.  My absolute favorite definition is ‘a friend and a guide.’  Actually, one who is knowledgeable in an area or wide range of areas that can guide you along to grasp the information so that you can use it in your own area of expertise.

With teaching, you are expected to listen, keep up with a group and fill in any blanks on your own time so that you can keep up with everyone else.  With coaching, that person manages and trains a person or group in a certain area such as sports or a particular area of marketing.  With a mentor an entire new world can be opened up to you if s/he knows how to present it.

Say you know nothing about classical music but would like that influence in your own artistic creations.  A mentor can give you a bit of history about a certain composer, play some of his works and then talk with you about it to help you to grasp it.  Doing this gradiently over a period of time, introducing you to more composers and time periods, you would not only have a better understanding of the subject but also be able to use the information.

Being a good mentor is more like being a master artist.  For instance, the artist takes in students some of which would need to start by learning how to care for the paint brushes while others need help with certain areas when painting and yet others only need to have some questions answered.   It is up to the artist to know the student’s capabilities and to increase them.

“It is up to the mentor to know the person’s capabilities and to increase them.”

No matter where you are at in your career, there’s someone that can help you to move it forward.  Never stop learning!  Oh ya…and get yourself a mentor!


Mentoring by ILIA









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