Show me a Young brilliant mind without a mentor and I will show you a failure. Every leader was once a follower, every great mentor was once a mentee. What I am saying is a tree can not make a forest. For you to be great in life, you need a mentor. You can not be a great leader if you are not a great follower. You can not be a great success without being a good mentee. This does not mean you can not achieve success on your own without getting a helping hand, it only means having a good mentor will help you avoid some pitfalls and get to your destination in life faster.
The first question we should examine is “who is a mentee?” If you are reading this article, I want to believe you already know or at least have the basic knowledge of who a mentee is. A mentee is someone who follows the footstep or advice of a mentor. That is, a mentee is a person who is directly or indirectly advised, guided, or motivated by a mentor. A mentee is a follower who follows a leader. A mentee subjects his/her self to the leading of a person or persons he/she considers to be a worthy mentor.
A mentor is a superior figure who leads a mentee directly or indirectly through actions or words. A mentor is either a highly successful person in career, religion, politics, wealth or other spheres of life, or someone not so successful who has come to be really wise as a result of past experiences. A mentor is perceived to be highly knowledgable and of a high level of intelligence worthy of emulation and capable of leading.
Things to look for in a mentor
A mentor should be highly intelligent and of a higher level of understanding than the mentee: You don’t want to be led by a mentor who achieved success at a particular endeavour by mistake. Someone who achieves anything by mistake will not be capable of leading you on the right path to achieve your dreams.
Do as I do is better than do as I say: It is not advisable to follow a mentor that tells you to do as he says not as he does. Leadership by example is the best way to lead. Imagine a young athlete who picks a drug addict as a mentor. If becoming a great athlete without drugs is easy why is your mentor taking drugs? The point is, that kind of a mentor may not be able to help you to achieve your goals of becoming a great athlete without living on drugs because he can’t help himself. You should be wise as far as choosing a mentor is concerned.
A mentor should be a motivator, not a demoralizing person: You need a mentor that can motivate you until you achieve your goals, not someone who will give up on you or keep putting you down with words. Success is a journey and not an easy one, whoever you choose to be your mentor should have sound knowledge about mentoring.
Why is it important to have a mentor
Having a mentor is not compulsory, it is however necessary. It is definitely a personal choice to or not to have a mentor, but studies have shown that having a good mentor is one of the pillars to success. Let us take a look at some of the reasons why having a mentor is important.
You have the opportunity to ask questions: A mentor will be someone who definitely knows more than you do, it becomes easy to ask questions as regards anything. You have the opportunity to seek guidance and directions before you make critical decisions in life. This makes it easy to avoid mistakes.
Guidance and direction seeking accelerates success: A mentor stands a leading figure. A mentor guilds and directs a mentee. Good guidance makes your journey to success faster and easier than it should normally be. Having a mentor is not a choice, it is a necessity.
Having a mentor encourages a mentee to be self-discipline: to achieve anything meaningful in life and career, self-discipline is compulsory. Having a mentor that has succeeded in a particular sphere of life will be of great benefit. Imagine a mentor who wakes up at 4 am to begin training and will wake you as a mentee to wake up and start training too. With time, your body will get used to waking up at 4 am to train while your peers are still sleeping. This alone stands a chance of making you an outstanding achiever.
A mentor is a reflection of the end result of your hard work: putting in a lot of time and effort into an endeavour of which you are not sure what the end result will be can be very hard, but having a mentor who has succeeded in that particular field can be all the motivation you need.
A mentor saves you time, stress, energy and pitfalls: Mistakes and waste of resources will be avoided if you have a good mentor.
Why does mentoring help
Just as a mentee benefits from being mentored, a mentor also benefits from mentoring a mentee. Good things go in two directions. The advantages of mentoring includes:
It helps a mentor to works harder and achieves more success: Sometimes, it is hard to go on. But when you remember who is watching(your mentee), you will have the strength to push forward. Sometimes, even a mentor faces challenges that are very though and he/she may want to quit. But, when you remember your mentee(s) are watching, you will be motivated to try harder and that may result in a great breakthrough.
Mentoring helps you become better too: The best way not to forget knowledge is to teach someone. When you teach someone, it helps you retain the knowledge.
Mentoring is fulfilling: The joy and happiness that comes with helping someone are unquantifiable. You will find fulfilment in mentoring.
What goes around comes around: Your mentee today may become a great leader tomorrow and help you and your loved ones in trying times.
How to be a good mentee
- Listen to your mentor.
- Disagree with your mentor if need be.
- Get clarity of purpose.
- Filter the knowledge you get.
- Put the things you learn into action.
- Have a good relationship with your mentor.