#077: How to Find a Mentor to Take You Further, Faster [Podcast]

Recently, I recorded a podcast interview with Alex Barker at the Leadership Dojo. He asked me, “So how do young leaders find mentors?” It’s a question I get at least once a week.

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image courtesy of shutterstock.com/Zhukov Oleg

To be brutally honest, your chances of finding a mentor are slim and none. The problem is your definition of mentorship. It’s too narrow.

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When most people use the term mentor, they mean a one-on-one coaching relationship with someone older and more experienced.

It might be informal (someone who advises you ad hoc) or formal (someone who meets with you on a regular basis). Regardless, the demand exceeds the available supply.

Fortunately, organizations like Radical Mentoring are working on training more mentors. But it’s a slow process.

We simply don’t have enough mature men and women willing or able to make the investment.

But (and this is the good news) you can be mentored right now if you understand the four levels of mentoring:

  1. Virtual Mentoring: Read blogs and books, listen to podcasts, and take online courses.
  2. Group Mentoring: Go to live conferences, join membership sites, or participate in group coaching.
  3. Peer Mentoring: Find like-minded peers and be intentional about forming friendships with them. You can also join a mastermind groups.
  4. Personal Mentoring: Invest in a coach or find a volunteer mentor.

Jesus said, “He who is faithful in little is faithful also in much” (Luke 16:10).

Until you have taken advantage of the lower mentoring levels, you probably won’t gain access to the higher levels. Even if you eventually find a mentor (according to the traditional definition), you’re cheating yourself by not doing what you can now to learn and grow.

Instead of focusing on what you don’t have—a one-on-one, traditional mentoring relationship—focus on what you do have: more opportunities than ever before in history to learn and grow. If you simply expand your definition, you will find mentoring opportunities everywhere.

Listener Questions

  1. Garrett Ira asked, “What would you recommend to new or newly promoted leaders in order to build their credibility with more experienced team members?”
  2. Gary Thomas asked, “Are the differences in leading volunteers compared to paid staff?”
  3. Andy McCormick asked, “Should I be concerned about changing the name of my company if it no longer fits my current business offerings?”

Tip of the Week

If you are feeling a little down during this time of year, you’re not alone. You may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

If you are experiencing “the winter blues, here are five items to consider:

  • Sleep—are you getting adequate rest?
  • Sunlight—If you can’t get enough natural sunlight, I recommend the Philips goLITE BLUE Light Therapy Device. This is what I use.
  • Diet—are you eating healthy, nutrient rich foods?
  • Vitamins—are you taking a good multivitamin?
  • Exercise—This stimulates your entire system (if it is vigorous enough), releasing endorphins.

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Episode Resources

In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:

Show Transcript

You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode here, courtesy of Ginger Schell, a professional transcriptionist, who handles all my transcription needs.

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Question: What mentoring opportunities do you have NOW that you haven’t taken advantage of? Share your answer on , , or .

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