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Tips for Creating an Effective Employee Mentorship Program

Do Leadership Figures Still Need Mentors?

Mentorship is the kind of word we mostly hear in a corporate context when some older executive wants to take a younger staff member “under their wing” and turn them into something great. This isn’t something every leader thinks about on a regular basis, although it’s actually something that all leaders need to seriously consider.

Do Leaders Need Mentors

The Mentor/Mentee Relationship

Mentors and those who they are mentoring (the “mentee”) both gain from the relationship. The mentor gets to learn new skills such as leadership, counseling, reflectiveness, and listening while the mentee gets the benefit of the wisdom and experience of their mentor. This sounds great, but how does it apply to leaders?

Those in leadership positions do not always consider entering into a mentoring relationship because they may be under the impression that a mentor can only help to guide you to a higher position. This is especially true for leaders who are also entrepreneurs or heads of their department. It’s equally true for those who don’t currently have higher aspirations for their careers.

None of these reasons are good enough to give up on a having a mentor. Every leader should have a mentor!

5 Easy Steps For Finding The Right Business Mentor

From Visually.

– See more at: http://visual.ly/5-easy-steps-finding-right-business-mentor#sthash.0et41Muc.dpuf

What a Leader Stands to Gain from Good Mentorship

Here are a few of the benefits that can come to a leader willing to embrace a mentorship relationship:

  • A new frame of thought

You might be approaching a problem the best way you know how, but what if you had someone to offer you a new way of looking at things that you may not have considered before? This can change everything for you and make the decision clearer.

  • Advice from an older, more experienced source

If you don’t know where to begin in a certain situation or which path to take towards a decision, a mentor can give you their wisdom that comes from years more experience. They are not your peers and have been in the game longer than you have. This can mean they have a lot to offer in the way of advice that comes from a place of experience.

  • Wider networks of connections

Refusing the chance to connect with a lot of others in your industry that may be able to help you find success is a bad move any time. You mentor can offer you a lot more connections than you currently have, as they have been working for decades in their field and have presumably built up a reputation and developed a lot of useful business relationships over the years.

  • Support in many different leadership scenarios

Taking on a hard choice head-on can be difficult no matter what, but it’s much harder if you have no one to support you in that choice. Your mentor can offer you that source of support you need and can be the one that stands with you when you need to make a difficult decision.

  • A chance to bounce around ideas without criticism

When you’re with your peers, you may not be able to throw around ideas that sound crazy or out of the box without receiving a lot of negative feedback and criticism. However, if you have a good mentoring relationship your mentor can talk sensibly with you and discuss your ideas. They won’t be outright critical and dismissive, but can instead talk about why it may or may not be a good move for your career to progress forward.

mentoring quote

Source: etsy.com

Becoming a Mentor

Once you are in a higher position of leadership and further along in your career, you then should consider becoming a mentor to someone else. Just as you will absolutely benefit from having a mentor in any stage of your career, you can also help to benefit someone else’s career by opening yourself up to mentor them.

Every leader should have a mentor throughout at least one significant stage in their career. Then, when they are more experienced themselves, they should become a mentor to someone else.


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Raising Up Others: Why Leaders Need to Train Others to Take Their Place

Leadership is not a one size fits all concept that you can slip over every situation. It looks different in many different situations. While there are many principles that apply to leaders in all areas, they must be adapted to fit the specifics of every situation. One principle that is somewhat controversial in some circles is the idea that great leaders train up their replacements – even when they’re not planning on leaving the job.

Why Leaders Need To Train Others to Take Their Place

Developing Others in Leadership

Few people are born into the world of being great leaders, but the majority of people can learn the skills it takes to lead well. However, they will need someone to help them develop those skills. This is where senior leadership staff, fit in. If you have any leadership experience at all, then you have valuable knowledge that can be passed on to the next generation of leaders in your workplace.

Developing leaders means that you’re training those under you to rise into leadership positions. In many cases, you’re training them to do the job you’re currently doing.

A Leader Shows The Way Quote

The Redundancy Argument

A popular argument is usually raised whenever there’s a discussion of training your employees to do your job. The argument is that if you teach someone to do your job, they will be able to replace you and will make you a redundant employee. If there’s another employee capable of doing your job, who won’t ask for as high of a salary, then you may just end up losing your job to the very person you trained.

It’s easy to see where this fear comes from, but it’s actually not founded in proper thinking about leadership. Training up your staff and developing their leadership capabilities does not mean they will replace you, but it does make you infinitely more valuable to your organization and it opens up opportunities for you to move up.

A New Perspective on Leadership Development

Having more employees that are focused on solving problems and accomplishing goals is excellent for any organization. It’s even better if those employees are given the tools they need and are motivated to lead the company to the right solutions. If you as a leader have to dictate everything your staff members should do, then you’re not doing a good job and you are creating a stressful job for yourself.

If you want to be irreplaceable to a company, train your employees to replace you. This will give your company many more qualified, skilled leader’s to drive company progress forward. It will also bring up productivity in the workplace, especially when teams are involved because each person is going to feel more responsible for their own work and will be more willing to contribute positively.

Develop your team by allowing them to think outside of the box and come up with solutions to problems on their own. When you act like a dictator and demand to be in control of every decision that’s made, without accepting input or seeing what your team has to say, then you are creating a stagnant work environment that will not make you look good for promotion or accomplish company goals.

Conclusion

When leaders train their staff to be their replacement by developing leadership skills in the team, they manage to create an exciting, desirable, and productive workplace. You will also make your importance more obvious to the company, even though there are now others who can do your job as well. It’s vital that you take hold of the idea of developing your team to be able to replace you because this is the only way to make a truly successful workplace and a clear forward path upwards for yourself.


Build better leaders Today!

Total Team Building specialise in teams…we facilitate a range of team building activities that help build team morale, trust, leadership & communication within a team. For more information about how Total Team Building can help you contact us today.