The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.
- William Arthur Ward
an experienced and trusted adviser.
synonyms: adviser, guide, guru, counselor, consultant; confidant(e)
advise or train (someone, especially a younger colleague).
Mentors are individuals with
deep experience, and are willing
to share their knowledge.
The Mentor Manifesto
● Be socratic.
● Expect nothing in return (you’ll
be delighted with what you do get
● Be authentic / practice what
● Be direct. Tell the truth,
● Listen too.
● The best mentor relationships
eventually become two-way.
● Be responsive.
● Adopt at least one protégé every
single year. Experience counts.
● Clearly separate opinion from
● Hold information in confidence.
● Clearly commit to mentor or do
not. Either is fine.
● Know what you don’t know.
Say I don’t know when you
don’t know. “I don’t know” is
preferable to bravado.
● Guide, don’t control. Teams
must make their own
decisions. Guide but never tell
them what to do. Understand
that it’s their company, not
● Accept and communicate with
other mentors that get
● Be optimistic.
● Provide specific actionable
advice, don’t be vague.
● Be challenging/robust but
● Have empathy.
What Is A Great Mentor?
A great mentor sees a mentee as a person, not just an employee.
They know enough about their personal life to understand the
external factors that impact their work, and cares about their
“A great mentor is honest and unafraid to tell you hard truths about yourself
and your work. They help you navigate the politics of your organization or
profession, and avoid the landmines. They push you to take risks and aim
higher, and advocates for you when you’re not there.”
- Pamela Ryckman, author of Stiletto Network: Inside the Women’s Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business.
Who are you, the mentor?
Start with a declaration.
● I am a mentor.
● I am fully committed to your success.
● I offer you the benefit of my experience without the weight of my
judgment or the expense of my service.
● I open your perspective to possibilities that you might not otherwise see.
● I create clarity so that the next action becomes apparent.
● I recognize that I have no decision rights with respect to your venture.
● My success comes not from being right or showing you how much I know,
but solely from your success.
A list of core beliefs that must be true (for you), and without which
you cannot be a successful mentor. In circumstances where these
beliefs are not true, it will be very difficult for you to have a positive
effect as a mentor. These may be simple rules, but could be restated
as beliefs. Customize and create your own.
Here are a couple of examples:
● I may not know the answer.
● Listening is more important than speaking.
● Those I mentor gain the most when I am truthful.
Good mentoring is hard.
Mentoring is about establishing a protected, trusting environment in
which your protege will feel free to quickly dig into the important
issues, expose doubts and shortcomings and be disposed to make real
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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-- ROBERT FROST