You are a mentor and are being mentored every day – Part 2

In my last post I discussed how we came to use the word mentor to mean a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.  It originated with the Greek classic The Odyssey where Mentor was a man whom the king appointed to protect and counsel his family while he was away at war.

Through that story we saw that until Mentor was filled with wisdom, he fell far short of his role as protector and counselor.

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

If you have a mentor, how can you be sure you are receiving wise counsel?

In my recently released best-selling 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?

  •  – They had common principles – honesty, integrity, respect.  Most importantly, they believed in helping others succeed.
  •  – 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.
  •  – 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.
  •  – 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?

– Pass on the wisdom he receives from those, like his grandfather, who have earned his trust through their example

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” – Albert Einstein


4 Responses to You are a mentor and are being mentored every day – Part 2
  1. Joy

    When someone is willing to share their wisdom and experience with you, it is a fantastic gift and should not be taken lightly. When a mentor shares this, you must determine how you will implement what you learn and how it applies to your specific situation.

  2. Denis G. McLaughlin

    Joy, I couldn’t agree more.

  3. Vanguard Organizational Leadership - David McCuistion

    Mentorship requires a “Servants Heart” that exhibits and demonstrates a “caring” and “empathic” attitude toward deep-seated “listening” to fully understand the “content and intent” of the person whom the mentoring is provided. It must be supplemented with comments and advice from the heart with no expectation of return. Without these true feeling and benovelance, the process is incomplete and most likely ineffective. Mentoring provides an intrinsic reward and feeling that one has not only made a difference within the mentored person, but also has developed a future mentor in the process.

    • admin

      David, I agree. The reward is in benefiting another’s journey of growth.