We can go to the highest levels of academia but graduate without wisdom. I’ve been there and I can speak from personal experience. I’m sure many of you have gone to some type of schooling or training, only to graduate, go to your first job and realize you have no clue – you are in way over your head. Again, been there… done that…. got the t-shirt 🙂
What I have discovered is the need for mentors. Mentors come in many forms. Before John Maxwell became one of my mentors, he was already impacting my life through his writing. Mentors can be for a season or long term. They can be from a formal arrangement or relational. The bottom line, however, is that we need mentors in our life that will help us become all that God intended.
Mentor vs Coach – What’s the Difference?
A mentor/mentee connection is typically open-ended and can span for years and even decades. The coaching relationship is typically used to address specific issues or a specialty field/niche. After the particular challenge has been addressed, both parties typically move on. In my experience, there have been what I call “hybrid scenarios” in which the coach/mentor role blurs. I believe this is based purely on the relationship.
In Christian circles, we sometimes call this spiritual parenting.
For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 1 Corinthians 4:15
Throughout the Word of God, we can see spiritual parenting. But it’s important to note that it started with coaching and mentoring. Some examples that come to my mind are Elijah / Elisha and Moses / Joshua.
We can learn so much from people who are “down the road” from where we are and in a place where they can speak health and wisdom into our lives.
If you don’t have a coach or mentor, your first step is to realize you need one! The next step is to engage with them. You need to pursue them. Most mentors and coaches are super busy. Show your interest and be persistent.
I have people that ask me to mentor them. In my early years, I would always say “yes”. My heart is to see people grow and reach their full potential. Then I realized – some people like the idea of mentorship or coaching but they don’t like the process. Success and effectiveness don’t happen by accident. It takes work. It takes determination. When those people realize it’s not about position or title and that its so much more and will take so much more from them, they disappear.
Here are some nuggets from 2 of my mentors who happened to be discussing… mentorship:
Quotes From Mark Cole:
* I think John’s (John Maxwell) greatest lesson with me is intentionality.
* If you are in a room and are not asking questions you are leaving knowledge on the table.
* For someone to be a good mentor you must do three things
1) Determine why you asked me to be a mentor? There must be a clear, compelling reason.
2) Determine what “a win” looks like? Where do we want to be at the end of the year?
3) Answer the question: why do you think so much of me that I can help get you there?
Quotes From John Maxwell:
* I’m not about to pour my life into a dead-end street.
* When I’m being mentored by somebody I value their time
* All compounding in life comes from equipping people.