It feels great to be an Executive Mentor
Mentorship is a developmental relationship, and both parties must invest in it to make it work. It is easy to blame mentees for failures, but let's face it, if mentors do not duly do their jobs, nothing will happen either. It feels terrific when the invitation comes to mentor someone. It brings prestige, self-realization, and pride. It is the recognition of years of hard work and learning accumulated, the excellent leadership skills you have been developing, and the time invested in your charisma and communication skills. Great feelings, but please remember... "it is not about you." You are there only to help your mentee grow and develop and for you to learn with it. Therefore, great executives are not necessarily great mentors. Selfless executives have better odds.
Emotional intelligence, life experiences, and intellectual power can transform lives
Thus, becoming a great mentor is primarily a personal development journey where we learn to move our focus from ourselves to helping others. That is the main reason there is a clear correlation between great mentors and the number and breadth of experiences accumulated. In one part, it is essential to have experienced corporate up-climbing, the thrill of managing big teams and budgets and achieving great results. In another, the pain of failure, setbacks, and hardship. Every part of those ego-excruciating moments makes us better people, leaders, and (wait for it...) mentors. Why? Because we stop seeing ourselves as infallible superheroes and start looking at others' shortcomings with empathy and understanding. With those, we have meaningful stories to tell and the ability to work on how people feel about such events, their limitations, and the critical timings of each one. We help build realistic plans and set realistic goals. We come through as real people, and we can win our mentees' trust by showing our vulnerabilities - which is fundamental to creating a safe space and empowering open sharing. And that combination of emotional intelligence, life experiences, and intellectual power will genuinely transform lives when selflessly used at the service of your mentees.
Effective Executive Mentors are not born
When I achieved that career stage and started mentoring more frequently, I learned the second part of the mentoring definition was also accurate and formidable - mentors learn a lot with their mentees too. The richer the exchange, the stronger the relationship, and therefore the more influential the mentor is. But something else was missing at that phase of my Executive Mentor career. Not every mentee is the same or their challenges. To be effective as a mentor and help my mentees achieve their goals, I needed to be flexible and adaptable and discover the right tools to apply in every situation.
Exchanging with other mentors within Collective Brains, we found out that there was no training or even literature readily available to support mentors' development. So we collaborated with learning experts to create the world's first Executive Mentoring Certification Course. The course is built on the best academic research in the field. Knowledge and technique replaced intuition and conjectures. It helped me realize my personal transformation and acquire a repertoire of skills and strategies to apply at large and every case. I learned how to communicate effectively, listen better and use storytelling effectively, among other skills and tools. Now I plan my mentorships efficiently, get better prepared for each session and create mighty summaries. And as a company, we want to train and certify every mentor out there. I got my badge and you should get yours.
As an Executive Mentor, nothing is more rewarding than witnessing my mentees develop and achieve their dreams. Knowing that I became an effective mentor and can help others grow is priceless. As Winston Churchill said, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."