Let a mentor help you get results

Ask The Experts

Most successful business people are early-morning risers. Did you also know that most have a mentor? Well, you might not be a “morning person,” but you can get a mentor.

Additionally, these successful businesspeople usually maintain a relationship with a mentor throughout much of their careers. I still communicate with one of my mentors, who was instrumental in me earning my first management role more than 25 years ago, and he continues to be a valued adviser.

The question today is, regardless of where you are in your professional, or entrepreneurial, journey, do you have a mentor? If not, it’s never too late. We’ll explore the substantial value of mentors and how to make the most of learning from someone more experienced and the positive impact of doing so.

WHO NEEDS A MENTOR?

 If you want to achieve any of the following, you need a mentor:

 • Improve your personal effectiveness

• Grow your business

• Get a promotion

• Shorten your learning curve

• Become a better leader

• Increase your income

• Achieve both, your personal and business goals

 You don’t know everything and even if you think you do, it’s always good to get a second, more experienced, opinion. That can be invaluable and save you a lot of stress, mistakes, money, etc.

 Personal development is another key benefit of mentorship. If you choose correctly, you’ll get someone who knows and understands you. That person can help you analyze your strengths and weaknesses, and then take appropriate action to help you improve. For example, my early mentor, a senior vice president, knew that I was one of the company’s top corporate salespeople and performed well as an individual contributor. But he knew that in order to be successful, I would have to learn new skills so I could transition to a leader who gets results through my team, not just my own efforts. He personally helped me acquire those skills and even secured my first executive coach.

You can leverage the fact that mentors usually have access to resources and contacts/relationships that might be helpful to you.

THE PAYOFF 

 A CNBC study found that 91% of employees who worked with a mentor reported that they were satisfied with their jobs. Additionally, research by the national business mentoring organization SCORE indicated that 43% of entrepreneurs with at least five interactions with a mentor experienced growth in their businesses.

I will leave you with an action item I hope will inspire, and challenge, you to take the next step on your journey, no matter what it is or how far you might have already traveled. If you don’t have a mentor, I challenge you to begin the process of finding one.

 This is part one in a two-part series on mentorship. Next month, the step-by-step process of finding the right mentor and even how to pay it forward by mentoring someone who could benefit from your knowledge.

G. Deon Bradley is a national business consultant and executive leadership coach. He is one of only 10% of certified coaches in North America and has a track record of more than 30 years. He helps his clients get results and enhance their careers and/or businesses. For information or a free consultation, contact him at [email protected]

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