The mentor and the menace

Photo by lumaxartA few weeks ago, Seth Godin gave us this important question for leaders:

"What happens if you say to the people you hired, 'I work for you, what's next on my agenda to support you and help make your numbers go up?' "

We've been the fortunate and grateful recipients of phenomenal mentoring throughout our careers, sometimes entirely unwittingly.  

Our mentors have challenged, cheered and chastised us, sometimes all at the same time.

They've enabled the progression of our careers, encouraged our risks, and supported us in failure.

Why? Not for their own glory or advancement, and certainly not to say 'I made you what you are', but because they are truly great leaders.

What kind of leader are you? And what kind do you want to be?  Consider:

  • Great mentors inspire and empower;
  • Menaces intimidate and manipulate;
  • Great leaders are A people who aren't afraid to hire A+ talent (their counterparts are B people who hire C people to avoid being challenged);
  • Great mentors shine the spotlight away from themselves and onto their teams;
  • Bad mentors jump into the light with their "ME" t-shirts on.

If you're lucky enough to have a great leader, remember to say thanks.

You can start by modelling your behaviour after them.