There are so many different tactics and strategies today that leaders can use in order to hone their leadership skills and to become better and more effective leaders in the workplace. However, no matter what your strategy may be, there is one thing that any leader in any industry can use in order to become better. The key is to find a mentor.
The right mentor can help you learn the ropes of what it takes in order to be an effective leader, be an example to follow and answer questions you may have about how to handle difficult situations.
The Importance of Mentorship: Leading By Example
One of the most significant reasons why mentorship works so well in today’s professional world is because mentors provide their mentees with an example to follow. Leading by example is one of the best ways for someone to learn the right way and wrong way to do things.
For someone to truly be a mentor, you need to be able to emulate what they do and how they approach certain situations. It is important that the mentor also adopts this policy. If you are trusting someone who says “do as I say, not as I do” as your mentor, then this can make for some confusing interactions. Make sure you take the time to vet potential mentors and find someone who acts in the way that you would like to act as a leader.
When your mentor does do something that you don’t understand or agree with then it is important that you ask them what their mindset was behind their actions. You shouldn’t just blindly follow your mentor. This is not leading by example. You also need to understand the why behind the way they act as well.
How to Find a Mentor
Understanding the importance of having a mentor is only half of the battle. You must also know how to find a mentor that you can trust as well. The right mentor can make all of the difference in your success as a leader, so it is important to take the time to choose a mentor who you trust and who you want to emulate. If you cannot find the right mentor right away, take your time until the right person for the job comes along.
Different people may have different approaches; one of the most important things to do is to ask someone who you actually know. Do not approach a stranger in your company who happens to have a respectable position and ask them to be your mentor. Just because you envy or appreciate their career growth does not mean that they are going to be the right mentor for you. Please note that this doesn’t mean that you can’t eventually get to know that person in a different context.
You should not be afraid to ask for guidance from someone you know, and the right person for the job will be more than willing to provide you with the assistance you are looking for. The best way you can get someone to do more than just give you occasional advice is to be someone who is enjoyable and easy to mentor. If you are willing to accept direction and listen to a potential mentor and their advice, they are much more likely to be willing to mentor you and help you become the leader you want to be.
Of course, once you have made it as a leader, you may want to consider becoming a mentor. As a mentor you have the opportunity to educate others using your experience creating new generations of leaders, and you can help hone your own skills as a leader.