As a leader, you’re really busy. While mentoring a rising high performer may sound like a great opportunity, you might worry that you just don’t have the bandwidth. But here’s something you may not have considered: Most people think of mentoring as a giving exchange, but it’s really a getting exchange.
“After 40 years of mentoring, I can say it’s a reciprocal relationship in which mentors often learn as much as they teach,” says Bert Thornton, a former president and COO of Waffle House, and coauthor along with Dr. Sherry Hartnett of the new book High-Impact Mentoring: A Practical Guide to Creating Value in Other People’s Lives. “Becoming a mentor can directly lead to a revitalization of your own career, engagement, goals…and life!”
Dr. Hartnett, founding director of the University of West Florida’s Executive Mentor Program, says that for many high-level mentors, the monthly time commitment is typically no more than an hour of preparation and an hour to meet. Some pairs might choose to meet more often, others less.
If you still aren’t sure whether you’re ready to add “mentor” to your list of responsibilities, read on to discover ten surprising benefits you can expect to receive:
“When you pass on your hard-won knowledge, experience, and wisdom, you powerfully impact rising high performers, your organization, and your industry,” says Thornton. “What better legacy can you leave?”
“And remember, developing mentees into better employees helps not just them, but your whole organization,” adds Dr. Hartnett. “An investment in a mentoring relationship is an investment in your own professional success.”