Mentoring - Do you know what makes a good mentor?

Last updated by Jack Pettit [SSW] about 1 month ago.See history

Trying to do great things is hard. Trying to do them alone is, more often than not, impossible. That’s why all great leaders have mentors, and they also mentor others. No matter how competitive you may feel - especially early in your career - success is, in reality, a team sport.

Steve Jobs had Bill Campbell as a mentor; Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs; Bill Gates had Warren Buffett... the great Robert De Niro had Stella Adler; even Nelson Mandela had Gandhi to guide him! These are all very successful people, who benefited from having someone more experienced to lean on.

steve jobs and mark zuckerberg
Figure: Mark Zuckerberg became very successful under the guidance of Steve Jobs

Having a mentor will give you an advantage over those who have to navigate and maneuver the IT industry alone.

Everyone had something to learn and everyone has something to share!

Mentors don't have to be teaching you something technical. A mentor doesn't even need to be someone more senior than you - they just need to be good at something you are not. If they are an expert in something you don't know how to do - they can be your mentor, and visa-versa.

Mentors don't need to necessarily help you learn something specific, they can also:

  • Boost your confidence
  • Help direct your career moves
  • Unstick you when you aren't sure which way to go
  • Save you time by showing you where to look, or how to approach something
  • Offer support when times get tough or you have to make difficult decisions

⭐ Great mentors should:

  • Push you out of your comfort zone
  • Help you past sticking points
  • Give you great feedback and encouragement
  • Be a supporter when times are tough
  • Care about your success
  • Be a positive role model
  • Dedicate some time just for you
  • Be a lifelong learner
  • Be open and honest

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