In our last letter, we highlighted one of the most important pillars of leadership: winning and maintaining the trust of people. In this letter, I will be sharing another important tip for the journey of leadership: getting mentorship.
Like winning people’s trust, getting mentorship is something that should start long before you occupy any leadership position. Personally, I believe that everyone—whether you have leadership goals or not—should have a mentor to help them navigate life. Look at it like this: there are things you know about life now that you did not know 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. Imagine that you could sit down with your future self and ask for advice. You would have wise and valuable insights to share with your current self, inspired by your experiences. This is the beauty of mentorship: it prepares you for the future and ensures that you don’t have to make certain mistakes.
Mentorship in leadership is essential. It enables upcoming leaders to see what real leadership is and how they can improve on or entirely avoid the mistakes of their mentor(s). Likewise, mentors can provide mentees with development tools (books or podcasts), activities, and practical suggestions for becoming better leaders. They can also nudge diligent mentee(s) in the direction of a network of leaders who can help develop and manage their growth.
The benefits of mentorship are not restricted to the mentee. When a mentor walks an upcoming leader through leadership scenarios and events, they are forced to hold up a mirror to their own behavior and leadership style. This will also help them correct their mistakes and be better leaders.
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