Why be a mentor? Here are six reasons that mentorship is crucial for thriving corporations and a thriving world.
The concept of Living the Dream—of being grateful for what you have and creating the life you want to live—is ultimately not about you. Your motivation for improving your life show and refining your character should be to give it all away.
While monetary and material gifts are always nice, the greatest gifts you can give someone are your time, your attention and your expertise.
One of the greatest gifts you will ever receive is the opportunity to share your knowledge, so seek to give it generously. I think that everyone, at least once in their life, should actively seek to mentor someone else. Here’s why.
1. Mentorship builds stronger teams.
In a great production, each cast member knows their part and plays it with enthusiasm. An organization or corporation succeeds for the same reason. A director can’t ensure that every single member of the chorus is singing on key just as a CEO can’t keep tabs on all of her employees. In both of these cases, more-experienced individuals can help the less-experienced individuals play their parts well.
Too often, I hear people say that we should protect our knowledge and talents so that no one steals our ideas. Those people don’t make much of an impact. Once the person you’re mentoring masters their role—even if it’s the same role or a similar role to yours—they will never perform it exactly the way you do. You don’t have to worry that they are going to steal your show, and you can mentor knowing that you’re ultimately strengthening your organization as a whole. When those around you work better and more efficiently, you will too. That’s called leadership.
2. Mentorship is the vehicle of progress.
Even when a mentorship happens outside of a defined work environment (say you’re an author mentoring a budding writer), it makes the production on the world stage a better one.
Acting coaches, mentors and teachers are the reason for progress. We all learn from those who went before us. When you are asked to pass on your knowledge, you should approach it with vigorous enthusiasm. It is a recognition of your accomplishments to be asked to help someone on their journey!
Just think: Where would Aristotle be without Plato? Where would Harry Potter be without Dumbledore? Where would Luke Skywalker be without Obi-Wan? I don’t know where I would be without the people who shared their knowledge with me.
3. You’ll learn as much as you teach.
The practice of mentoring makes you realize that you teach what you most need to learn. By mentoring someone, you’ll see your own life in a new light as you distill what was important from your experiences and pass that on in its purest form.
If you’re mentoring someone significantly younger than you or who has life experiences that differ from yours, they’ll teach you too. As you understand how they deal with change, what their obstacles are and what technologies and shifts are changing their field, your knowledge base will grow.
By mentoring the band Telehope, I’ve learned so much about how the music industry and college market have changed in recent years. Mentoring the leaders of tomorrow is one of my greatest joys—few things make me more excited and hopeful than the goals of young people.
4. You owe it to your own mentors.
The only reason you know what you know is because someone else offered to share their knowledge. Whether you read a book, sat in a lecture or learned a skill from someone else, someone took the time to write down or teach what they knew in order for you to learn it.
I know that I can never repay Tommy McLaughlin for taking money out of his paycheck to pay me when I was twelve, Will Keim for giving up 15 minutes of his keynote time for me to speak with him at colleges, or David Coleman for taking a chance on me and letting me speak with his team.
But you know what I can do? I can carry on their legacy. When I give to someone else the wisdom, inspiration and love that my mentors gave to me, l know that I am fulfilling my life purpose.
5. You can help people live their dream.
There are many people—too many people—waiting in the wings of their life, afraid to step on stage and perform their starring role. Maybe it’s a person in middle management, unsure of what to do to earn a promotion. Maybe it’s a self-conscious teenager with an incredible singing voice who needs a vocal coach to encourage their gifts. Maybe it’s a single mom with a genius idea who needs a mentor to help her start a business.
Maybe you’re the person who will help them change their life forever. You have the opportunity to be a champion for someone just by inviting them to get coffee.
6. Mentoring is the most rewarding part of your career.
When you retire, you will not remember your biggest sale. You won’t remember the presentation that you gave, and you won’t remember how many promotions you got. But you will remember the one person who believed in you. You’ll remember the boss who took you out to lunch. You’ll remember the person who gave you honest feedback on your leadership style.
You’ll also remember the person who you believed in, taught everything you know and watched succeed. You’ll remember the people who made an impact on you, and you’ll be remembered by the people that you made an impact on.
Why be a mentor? Mentoring is the greatest thing you can do for someone else and for yourself. So: What’s something you could be teaching another person right now? What’s one way you could invest in someone else just for the sake of helping them?
This is the heart behind my VIP Days. If you’re ready to take your dreams and goals to the next level, I’d love to spend a day with you as your champion. If you want to tap into your leadership genius and learn how to mentor others, I’d love to share what I know with you. Let’s dream big together! Click here to learn more and schedule a call with me.
As a speaker and author, Curtis Zimmerman has impacted over one million people with his life-changing messages and award-winning programs. Curtis is an expert at transforming organizations by inspiring individuals to live their lives at performance level.
Want to be inspired? Check out his podcast The Next 24 Hours.