10 Reasons You Need a Mentor in Your Life Today!
I’ll be honest, my seven year-old nephew, Junior, inspired a portion of this article. I got a two-for-one; we had the privilege of hosting him this past weekend, and walked away with a cornerstone article on the power of a mentor. What a treat!
So usually we all go outside in the early evening. It allows the kids to burn off excess energy, and we can get the stress of the day off. On this particular day my nephew got frustrated with my son, MJ, because he had no clue how to play a particular game. Here’s how the conversation went:
Nephew: “Ugh! Uncle Marq can you play with me? MJ doesn’t know how to play right.”
Me: “You have be willing to teach him how to play, just like someone showed you.”
Nephew: “I already knew how to do it. No one had to teach me.”
Me: I assume you always knew how to brush your teeth, and tie your shoes too?
He was completely unaware how much he was learning by watching, being, and doing. He has yet to realize how many times he’s brushed his teeth the wrong way, or the number of times he’s knotted his shoe laces from failed attempts.
He was definitely clueless to the fact that all that he has become thus far is a compilation of microcosmic deposits made over the course of time by multiple individuals that have crossed his path.
In most cases, he is like you and I. We do not know what we have learned until we experience a moment of recall and we are forced to remember, become, and act on it in an instance.
To make this even more clear I want to ask you question. You find it awkward that despite the magnificence of the mind, you don’t know what you will remember.
Let’s keep this simple and straight forward. You and I will never be better than those that have taken the time to add value to our lives. I believe there are individuals appointed to us at every area in our lives. It is our responsibility to get the most out of those individuals possible. Because like all things, nothing lasts forever.
What is Mentorship?
Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but they must have a certain area of expertise.
It is a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn.
Interaction with an expert may also be necessary to gain proficiency with/in cultural tools. Mentorship experience and relationship structure affect the “amount of psychosocial support, career guidance, role modeling, and communication that occurs in the mentoring relationships in which the protégés and mentors engaged.”
The Top Ten Reasons
1. It’s Who You Know…
Let’s eradicate the thought process that school is the main way to go about obtaining success. To do this you must embrace a higher truth…it is not about what you know, but it is about who you know. And even when it is about what you know, it usually the people you know that have taught you what you know.
2. Locked Doors…
Another reason you need a mentor is because of the fact that you need people talking about you behind doors you have no access to. The way this is done is in earning the favor of others that bought into where you are headed in life. This type of a mentor is known as a Champion.
3. Greatness Comes from Greatness…
Have you ever noticed that great people come from great people? We see this reign true in coaches like Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, and the late Koby Bryant. We see it in Jim Rohn and Tony Robbins. We see it again with Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffet. There are thousands more that could be used as examples, these three come to mind first. This comes from the law of replication, which states you can only produce that which you are. One cannot outperform the power his mind has accumulated. Therefore, he can only recreate in others that which is inside of him.
4. The Most Powerful Form of Learning…
According to John Hagel and John Seely Brown fo the Harvard Business Journal, “The most powerful form of learning is the rapid and sustained creation of new knowledge by all workers as they address unseen problems and opportunities to create more value.” I like to refer to this process as metamorphosis. It is the process of being and doing. In this process, who do you think the doers are looking to for help with new problems? You’ve got it, mentors.
5. The Skill of Distinction…
Mentors provide access to the two most powerful skillsets you can possess. One of the two is distinction. Mentors are able to see things it would take you years to recognize. They can identify the symptoms of inefficiency; largely due to the fact that they have fallen subject to them many times before.
6. The Power of Predictability…
The second of the two most powerful skillsets is predictability. Being able to know what is about to happen before it happens is undoubtedly the best skillset a person can poses. This is why investors make so much money. When you are able to predict human habit, you can avoid numerous pitfalls, and see through unquenchable human desire of selfish ambitions.
We all need leaders. Whether you choose to acknowledge it, or not, a mentor is a leader. They may not meet every degree of character and moral you would like to see, however, that is not the requirement.
7. Kick Self-Discipline to the Curb…
Mentors are disciplinarians that create necessary boundaries that we cannot set for ourselves. I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as self-discipline. The closest thing that one will get to it is will power; which is great, but never long term. Discipline comes from the word disciple, which is a follower or student of a teacher, leader, or philosopher. No one can disciple themselves.
8. Fast Lane Please…
Mentors allow you to expedite learning curbs and travel time. Because of the fact that knowledge compounds, like money. Gaining access to a mentor gives you the ability to advance years ahead in your business or career. Starting a business is challenging enough, so if you can skip doing things the hard way, why wouldn’t you? A mentor has been there, right where you are, and has made numerous mistakes that they can now use as a basis for helping others to skip the devastating effects of not knowing.
Mentors tend to be free, which makes them priceless in more ways than one. Typically, a mentoring relationship will grow organically through connections within your industry and network. In many cases, a mentor does not do it for the money. Instead, they are driven by the satisfaction of helping another entrepreneur, paying it forward from a similar experience they had when starting their own business.
10. You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know…
Despite the overwhelming evidence of the power found in mentorship, studies show that men struggle to implement this in their lifestyle. In our study of more than 1,065 men, the number one response was pride; the men where too proud to admit they needed help.
The second highest response was the fact that they did not understand the importance of a mentor. It is pretty scary to see that so many of these individuals are risking their personal and professional advancement on such a monumental component.
When it comes to starting a business we highly advise you to acquire as many mentors as you possibly can. Because you don’t know what you don’t know!
What You Need to Know
A lot of the work in finding a mentor starts with simply asking. One rule to understand about seeking mentorship is that it is the mentee’s responsibility to find a mentor, not the other way around. Find someone you admire…these tend to be the only people you will listen to when they tell you to do something against your will.
Check out the High Performance Male Leaders Association (HPMLA). This association provides a free mentorship platform for businessMEN from all professions with a desire to maximize their potential and master success. The mentorship program provides 8 weeks of guidance and clarity, by proven high-performing male leaders with track records of getting results, and a passion for serving men. CLICK HERE to complete an application!