Have you ever thought of mentoring a young leader? Have you ever brought in a summer student? Mentored someone earlier in their career? How about a high school student with hidden spark?
Mentoring is one of the secret paths to developing your leadership, your relationship skills, authenticity, courage, systems thinking and even your strategic thinking.
When you talk with mentors, its not surprising the mark that mentorship has left on them. They’ll tell you that they have gained more than they feel they have given to their mentees. Yet, mentorship is something few leaders and executives carve out time to engage in. Here are the six gifts that mentors describe receiving from their experiences and why you’ll want to make this a priority development activity:
- You have an opportunity to help someone see themselves in a new light. You can show them what’s strong, not what’s wrong and help them find the spark that will propel them forward in career and life.
- Telling your stories allows you to revisit your past learnings and help you see the wisdom you have inside you. You’ll understand where your wisdom comes from and see new ways to up your own game
- You’ll look at the world differently. Young people have a different perspective and ask questions you’ve never thought of.
- Young mentees introduce you to new topics, concepts and thinking you couldn’t imagine on your own.
- You’ll develop empathy by simply listening and spending time with someone different from you.
- They’ll make you want to be a better person because they’ll inspire you.
If you aren’t actively engaged in growing and developing future leaders, you’re missing out on critical self-development. Give a young leader a hand up, and you’ll find a hand up of your own. And, maybe a little spark too!