What if we were all connected? What if we were all both mentors and protégés to one another? I was struck by this extraordinary concept when researching my book Mentoring, with my co-author Teri Sjodin. It became so clear that we are all qualified to be both mentors and protégés and within our circle of influence--there are people for whom we can be both teacher and student. Shouldn't everyone be a mentor? We don't have to be successful entrepreneurs or captains of industry. We could simply be good salespeople or experienced managers or have something worthwhile to p-+share. Most of us are successful at something that was taught to us by someone else, so aren't we almost obligated to be? If we were warmed by the fires that others have built, shouldn't we, in return, build fires for others? I think so.
What mentors want. Zig Ziglar, my personal mentor for more than thirty years taught me this well. I asked him one day, "Zig, why me?" He replied, "Floyd, I like helping people and always try to when I can. Some I hear from but not of. Some I hear of but not from. Some I don't even hear of or from. With you, I am always hearing of you and you never fail to let me hear back from you." Knowing that you are applying what you learn and helping others gives them the gift of legacy.
To be a mentor, you must be willing to spend time unselfishly sharing a desired skill or knowledge. Anyone who has ever had the privilege of being in this role can certainly tell you the direct benefit of this get by giving relationship. That said, there are some secrets to success.
The Laws of Mentoring: Of the sixteen laws found in our book, I believe these five are the most critical:
1. The Law of Developing Character -- help develop not just talent, but a wealth of mental and ethical traits. 2. The Law of Shared Mistakes -- be willing to share the mistakes and hardships not just the successes. 3. The Law of Small Successes -- use small stepping-stone goals that lead toward the larger objectives and recognize and reward even these small achievements. 4. The Law of Inspection -- monitor, review, critique actions and results. People are more apt to do what we inspect than what we expect. 5. The Law of Independence -- don't do for the protégés what they can do for themselves. The idea is to make them independent OF you not dependent ON you.
I am a life-long believer in the power of connectivity. I see it at work in our R-Squared Groups and Master Sales Society all the time. People helping people. Sales professionals reaching out to other sales professionals. “Together, we can accomplish anything” is not just a saying to me – it’s part of our foundation. So what do you say? Ready to CONNECT?