Brian Alden

The picture of a wise mentor.


I have had several great mentors in my life, and I have tried to be a great mentor to others. The mentors I remember the most poured their wisdom into me in the hope that I would go further and accomplish more than they themselves did. I learned in this process that only the most confident of leaders can help their team shine brighter than themselves.

If you have a mentor, how can you be sure you are receiving wise counsel? If you are a mentor to someone else, how can you be sure you are giving wise counsel?

In my book, The Leadership GPS, Brian Alden is in just this situation. He needs someone to mentor him in his new leadership role, and there are people in his life that need a mentor. Brian looks to his grandfather, Michael Tennyson, for a solution to each of these needs.

How could Brian be sure he would receive wise counsel in this situation from his grandfather?

– Brian and his grandfather had common principles – honesty, integrity, respect. Most importantly they believed in helping others succeed.

– Michael Tennyson was a successful business man who had started and grown many companies in his career. He was a mentor to each leader in his organizations.

– Brian’s grandfather knew first-hand the pitfalls of mistakes he had made. These mistakes became lessons for his next choices and for others he would mentor.

– The wisdom of the generations was not lost on Michael Tennyson. He was a student of historical leaders and could apply their experience to his own and to others’ situations.

How could Brian be sure he was giving wise counsel to those he mentored?

– One rule: Pass on the wisdom he receives from those like his grandfather who have earned his trust through their example.

Lead with integrity, even when you don’t want to, have to, or need to.

integrity-quotesYour example of integrity is the best teacher for those who are watching – and believe me, your followers are watching.  They may hear every word of advice you give, but unless they see you living out your own advice it won’t stick.

“Make sure the tongue in your shoes goes the same direction as the tongue in your mouth.”  – Ken Whitten

As a leader, your team members seek your approval.  Whether it’s intentional or not, they will imitate your actions in an effort to align with your expectations.  In my first book, The Leadership GPS, Brian Alden learned from his mentor that “Imitation is preferred when you are following success.”

Your example of integrity is also the best teacher for yourself.  Unless you keep the bar of success high; you will never know what you are capable of achieving.

“Remember that the bigger the goal, the stronger a person you must become to achieve that goal.”  – Robin Sharma

Brian Alden’s mentor taught him early in life that “The only real failure in life is the failure to try.”

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