It seems odd at times, but the ultimate success of being a mentor is when you can cut the strings because you are no longer needed.
Successful mentoring doesn’t happen overnight. It takes an investment of time – yours and the person being mentored. But the return on your investment is worth it.
There is a Chinese proverb that says, “If you want a harvest in one year, grow a crop. If you want a harvest in ten years, grow trees. If you want a harvest that lasts a lifetime, grow people.”
Some compare mentoring to a classroom where knowledge is taught. There is definitely a transfer of wisdom, but it isn’t so much taught as it is learned – through experience.
The best mentoring takes place through the process of trying out what is taught. The great scientist, Albert Einstein, had much to teach and was a professor of science at various time in his life. He is quoted as saying, “I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
It is important that mentors share what they know, but it is equally important to help people discover what they already know. Benjamin Disraeli once said, “The greatest good you can do for an individual is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to them their own.”
Once people realize all that they can accomplish, then they are ready to fly.