“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, … ‘I can take the next thing that comes along.’
You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Those powerful words of wisdom were written by Eleanor Roosevelt, former first lady, social entrepreneur and activist in her book , You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life.
Though I never met Eleanor Roosevelt, I consider her one of my mentors.
As I earned a college degree while supporting myself, I reflected on Ms. Roosevelt’s words every day.
I posted a card with her words on the mirror in the tiny room I rented near campus.
Her words inspired, motivated, and encouraged me through long days and demanding projects. It wasn’t easy, yet, I knew achieving the goal of gaining an education and earning a college degree was pivotal to my future.
Eleanor reminded me then, as she does now, that whatever challenge life or work presents to me, I can do more than I have ever imagined.
Every leader and emerging leader should find a variety of mentors because you cannot grow into your full potential on your own. You will go further, faster with a mentor.
But, you say, it’s hard to find a mentor. You’re right; there simply aren’t enough qualified people who have the time or commitment to be your mentor.
Yet, there are mentors and mentoring opportunities all around you, and they come in many forms. The most successful people in work and life intentionally seek out mentoring in all it’s varieties.
A variety of mentors will provide guidance, inspiration and personal development advice that will:
Renew your perspective on how to overcome challenges & self-limiting beliefs. That’s what Eleanor Roosevelt has done for me through her words.
Give you ‘been there and done that’ advice. Have you viewed a TED Talk that resonated and gave you reassurance about your work? Popular business author Daniel Pink lists his Top 5 Favorite talks on how to find greater success at work. Millions have changed their perspectives and changed themselves by putting these ideas into action.
I’ve benefitted greatly from the mentoring in books like Ben Horwitz’ The Hard Thing About Hard Things and Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In.
Give you hands on coaching to increase a key business skill. I recently spent four days at the SCORRE conference where I learned a new paradigm for creating powerful communications. This conference is unique in several ways; perhaps most importantly, every attendee is organized into a small group and assigned 2 – 3 experts to coach them through the process as you take what you’ve learned and develop 3 presentations to give onsite at the conference.
As an executive and manager, I’ve written and spoken for years, yet the SCORRE conference gave me concentrated time to take my skills to a whole new level. Conferences are an essential way to get mentoring from a variety of individuals at the same time.
It sounds obvious, but many leaders don’t seek enough outside counsel. They do it alone, and miss out on perspectives that help them recognize and seize opportunities or overcome setbacks.
How do you grow as a leader and benefit from the variety of mentors around you?
Be open and intentional. Commit to at least one form of mentoring, every day. Trust me, it will change your life.
You may already have a mentoring relationship with someone you admire, or you are looking for one. By taking advantage of all the mentoring opportunities around you, your mentoring relationship will be even more valuable.
To realize the most impactful mentoring relationship, you need to be prepared – do what you can with other forms of mentoring so that you can focus on what only your relational mentor can do.
Some people believe that the main benefit a mentor provides is in making introductions and opening doors. That is important, but you need to prove yourself to earn those valuable introductions – and availing yourself to other mentoring will prepare you and guarantee greater impact.
I believe in the power of incremental change, one idea, action, and day at a time. That’s why today I launched the Pocket Mentor mobile app.
The Pocket Mentor app is perfect for motivated leaders who want to increase their impact, influence, and rewards. The app provides you with daily advice, tools, and action plans (right at your fingertips!) to win at work, succeed in life and enjoy it.
Good leaders know they must continually grow; and they need the advice of a variety of mentors. Are you ready?