Everyone has a professional skill package. When we first received our skill packages, there were no accessories included. The lessons we learned from our mentors formulated our skill package. Although we have accumulated accessories over time, we can’t rely on them to charge our batteries and keep us moving. Many professionals pack models and systems, spending a lifetime collecting accessories. The overachiever evolves by expanding their skill package through constant mentoring.
Every day, mentors are influenced by their desire to acquire new skills and achieve peak performance. The best mentors we know never stop mentoring themselves.
Mentors face challenge knowing their accessories are not included. They assume they know nothing and they go from there. As mentors, we must equip others with survival skills that will not leave them dependent on their accessories.
Mentors are master guides at searching for insight and remembering the lessons learned from past teachers. They are able to see into individual needs and move quickly to meet them. They understand there is more than one path to reach a goal and are always advocates of action. However, mentors realize there are times when action accomplishes nothing and nothing might be the best thing to do. It is action taken, while others pause to gather their accessories, which advances ideas into realities.
Ideals are achieved when individuals are charged with the courage to extend their viewpoints and leave behind any unnecessary baggage. Whether building a new business or shifting leadership roles, uncertainty about the future creates a desire to grab onto something concrete…systems, models, plans, and charts. Transitions cause us to focus on directed activities that establish specific boundaries and bridges. Transitions can become hazardous intersections of change, which cause us to lose sight of the vision.
Periods of transition are frequently a time when we should remember to travel light. Insecurities about their own abilities to cross the intersection can lead mentors to respond more like crossing guards than wilderness guides.
There are some simple guidelines every coach can follow to increase their impact as a mentor. An impact mentor blends creativity with reason. They add emotion and energy to the logic needed to find answers. The mentor searches for the answer with the apprentice without ever taking too much pride in what has been learned. Creative greed only results in failure to achieve the goal. As mentors, we assume the risk of responsibility and pass on the reward. Impact is our reward.
As long as we continue to think through the obstacles with a sense of urgency, we will achieve every goal with an impact advantage. Strength comes in knowing what you want to create and learning about new worlds.
Failure to see what can be learned overlooks the humility in learning. It is humility in teaching that realizes growth.
Movement driven by creative energy adds to the mentoring magic. As long as the momentum continues, the mentor will never have to struggle over when they should let go. If there is humility in the mutual momentum achieved, there is no limit to the growth. Growth can be stifled if we begin to rely on accessories to deliver results instead of our skill package. Consider the professional who believes models and charts contain all the answers. Their structure will limit adaptability, and ultimately, growth. Mentoring models are no exception.
If we continually push others to expand their skill packages, we will improve our own ability to accomplish previously unachievable goals. A piece of our future is in the hands of those we guide.
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