Question any leader or executive about their success and eventually they’ll tell you that their mentor played a big role. Today, however, there is no Jedi-Master Yoda, wise and powerful, taking on people and unlocking the paths to business immortality. The onus is now yours to find numerous mentors, build the relationships, learn from them, weave the skills together, and create your successful identity. No single master, but a collage of mentors.
Finding your mentors
You’ll normally rub shoulders with skills mentors, people willing to help and mentor, during your first week at a company. It’s important from the outset to find the more capable people. Relational mentors, in contrast, are more difficult to locate. But you should watch interactions both within and outside your discipline, looking for potential mentors. Relational experts tend to be excellent facilitators, know how to question without making people defensive, have a lot of language at their fingertips, can read people well, create a motivational atmosphere and readily engage in team problem solving. As you become a good “noticer of mentors” you’ll have a leg up on your competition.
Locating career and strategic mentors is a much more difficult game...