Mentor comes from Homer's Odyssey. Odysseus, king of Ithaca, fought in the Trojan War and entrusted the care of his household to Mentor, who served as teacher and overseer of Odysseus' son, Telemachus. Mentor was Telemachus' teacher and overseer, and he was trusted so much that Odysseus left the country because he knew that Mentor would get the job done.
Here's the crux of mentoring. In order to be a mentor, let alone an effective one, it requires us to do more than merely agree that we'll help another teacher or leader. We must oversee and teach so that we can ensure that excellence is achieved in those we have committed to help.
The 5 Makings of an Excellent Mentor
What does it take to be an excellent mentor? Below are 5 attributes that mentors exhibit to lead their followers to excellence.
- Motivator - Mentors are positive people, and they motivate their mentees to believe in their own abilities.
- Ownership - Mentors own the success of their mentees because they deem themselves great only when they bring out the greatness in those they help.
- Discipline - Mentors protect their mentees by keeping them focused only on tasks and actions that will help them grow the most.
- Exemplar - Mentors model excellence everyday by serving as a living example of what mentees should aspire to become.
- Leader - Mentors don't boss mentees around. They lead them by showing them the way and influencing them to make incremental steps to find their excellence.
The best description of an excellent mentor is found in what they model. What they do is mentors more than what they say. How they inspire growth and development supercedes the information they pass on to those they want to help. In short the best mentors model excellence for those they wish to mentor.
Who will you mentor to find their excellence this week?