Mentorship And Cultivating Wisdom
Mentorship And Cultivating Wisdom: We wanted to write an article about mentorship and our research bought us to the the words “cultivating wisdom” and an article in Success Magazine where John C Maxwell shared his “wisdom” on the subject of mentorship.
He describes mentoring as “how we spread our influence, transfer our wisdom and allow others to take part in our experiences” and that is as good as any description we have read and sums up exactly how we feel about mentoring and mentorship versus the rather stuffy dictionary definition of a mentor being
“An experienced person in a company or educational institution who trains and counsels new employees or students”
Although we do like the Wikipedia version which describes a mentorship as
“A relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but he or she must have a certain area of expertise”
And that brings us to a very valid point and one John Maxwell also refers to as his little secret “sometimes my teachers are much younger than I am … mentoring is born of experience, not age“
That certainly bears out for us as mentees as our first online business mentor was 27 years of age and we were in our mid 50’s but he knew what we wanted to learn (wisdom and knowledge) and he’d done what we wanted to do. John Maxwell says that even today at 70 he seeks the wisdom of others younger than himself realising that quite often it’s not those who are older who are wiser but wisdom comes from all directions and all ages.
There are John’s Top Four Tips For Mentorship
- Choose Judiciously. He says he’s often asked how he chooses his mentees. He doesn’t have a formal application process but chooses candidates largely by instinct and observation. Are they clear on what they hope to achieve. Are they passionate. How do they approach you. Then he considers his skill set. Can he deliver what the person seeks? Will his talents and experiences accelerate the person’s journey? These are all the same kinds of things we look at and ask ourselves when considering entering into a mentorship arrangement.
- Don’t Overextend. He says that wehn you take someon under you wing you need to make sure you can give them your undivided attention when you’re together. Mentoring doesn’t always requie a scheduled “sit down” appointment but sharing tips and strategies can be quite informal passed on through different channels such as social media and skype for example
- Consider Your Lessons Carefully. Mentoring is both spontaneous and structured. Like John we have learned the mistake of scripting lessons based on what we though our mentees needed. These days we see it more in the way of our mentees setting the agenda and dictating the direction of our sessions albeit we have to include important elements in their training. Of course we as mentors control the structe and that is essential. John talks about three elements of that structure being a. Layers : Your lessons should layor on top of another. You’re developing a foundation. Your mentee will go on to build a house. b. Connections : Your lessons should connect with each other like puzzle pieces, with each bit of information linking to form a bigger picture and c. Exploration : As the foundation develops, your student should understand that one lesson leads to another and that one line of questioning can branch into numerous directions.
- Pass It On Right Away. Every time you share information you are re-teaching yoruself. Passing on new knowledge quickly when it’s fresh is beneficial to you and the student. We could definitely concur with that!
John’s Top 5 Tips For Mentees
- Know What You Want Before you approach a potential mentor ask yourself a. What am I trying to learn? What are my short and long term goals? b. Why am I courting this particular person? How can they help me achieve those goals c. At the end of the year (or period of mentorship) what will I consider aw in or a gain from this relationship
- Understand The Relationship Mentoring should be friendly but it’s not a friendship. The time is used intentionally, with well defined objectives for each session that support a long-term over-arching goal
- Respect Your Mentor’s Time Let us share a story that John Maxwell shared with us “when one of my heroes, the legendary basketball coach John Wooden agreed to meet with me I treated the opportunity as a one-shot deal. I arrived at his Los Angeles apartment armed with five pages of questions. He looked at me a little stunned, but then granted me hours of his time. At the end of the meeting he looked at me and said “John I enjoyed this. When you think of more questions, you can come back and see me again”
- Know When You’re Ready My first mentors – after my Dad – were books and audiotapes. I was just starting out. I wasn’t qualified to be tutored by anyone yet. What did I know? Start with independent study. Keep notes. Write down your questions. The best of those inquiries might become your version of the “John Wooden List”
- Show Your Growth Once you do land a mentor, share your successes large and small. Mentors don’t always ask you to do this. Their reward is your success.
Mentoring is as John says “how we spread our influence, transfer our wisdom and allow others to take part in our experiences”
Today you have learned from us and from John C Maxwell who we truly respect as a leader and mentor and who we have been following and learning from for many years. We highly recommend you do the same (Google is a great tool)
We have reached a point in our journey now where we are willing to mentor just a few people each year. We’ve realised during our own mentoring journey that what we know and what we can teach is extremley valuable to the right person willing to give their time and to invest in mentorship – you can find out more by applying here
Thanks for reading and hope to see you back again to read more
Who Are We
We’re former accountants of a certain age (60+) with 5 great kids and 4 grandchildren. We love skiing and traveling the world and have achieved a fabulous life helping others to start and build a successful business online and now speak on international stages following that passion and helping transform lives. We started an online education and training business helping entrepreneurs in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s create their ultimate retirement breakthrough and find a way to fund their retirement and fulfil their passion and purpose as midlife entrepreneurs. Our worldwide educational business is centered on online marketing business education, financial literacy and wealth creation and a desire to help you create financial freedom through online entrepreneurship whatever your age or experience.
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