A true mentor in business is a rare find. I have worked with folks who have mentored me for there own purposes. They take credit when I changed for the better and disowned me when I failed to advance their causes.
I have also had the privilege of working with several people who have taken an interest in me and my career and have helped regardless of the benefit or gain to themselves. In Xerox personality terms they are the yellows. They follow the axiom, ‘the best managers are unafraid to hire their replacement.’ Working with leaders such as these provide not just direction for working but a sense of how to live your whole life.
Prior to using the process I am outlining in this blog in a business way, I never fully understood (or at all) how I could put someone ahead of myself like that. I thought they were helping me simply to help themselves. While I saw the advantage to being a mentor to others I had no understanding of the right reason to do this and if I helped people I hindered them just as much.
They say its not what you know that hurts you, but what you know thats actually wrong. I say, you don’t know what you don’t know. And its possible to go your whole life and never learn things which other people take for granted. Unless you start on a journey specifically to find this out. And that is what this next part is.
Until now there really has been nothing new in what we have learned about ourselves. We have looked at some of our history in a new way but the information was always with us. It is our experience. And to this point our experience has gotten us exactly where we are, looking for something more, something else.
This inventory of ours need the experience of a second set of eyes. We need to take this to someone who understands what we are doing. An individual who is not affected by anything in our story. One who can listen to our telling of it without judgement. The person we choose to share this with needs our trust and confidence that they will do this for our benefit. We need an experienced ear that has spoken this themselves.
We may not like some of the feedback we receive. I sure didn’t. But by sharing these secrets about ourselves with someone who has also done this two things happen. First is we begin to see that we are not the only ones who have done the types of things in our accounting. That we are not alone. Second, we start to see how our experience may be of benefit to another. If this person has done this and is able to get past these things and help me, maybe I can help another also!
I can truly become a mentor to another.