I always thought that I was smart enough or determined enough to figure everything out on my own, and I did very well with that for 20+ years. Recently, however, I felt that something was missing. So I started seeking advice from a senior executive. It began as just a couple conversations and turned into a bi-weekly conversation that has truly morphed into a mentorship. I never knew how much I could grow as a result of someone holding me accountable and helping me validate my business. Here are the top 3 things that I have learned from this mentorship, and why you need to seek one out ASAP.
1. Your thoughts are biased.
We see what we want to see in our work. We make excuses as to why we do things a certain way and look past some of our downfalls. I plan extensively on a daily basis. I thought I was doing such a great job of planning, but I eventually realized I wasn’t validating my plan from an outside perspective. This led to me having a false sense of “success.” My thoughts wouldn’t allow me to really look at what I was doing and make the necessary changes to become even more successful than I thought was capable.
Look, we all have areas that need improvement, but it is hard to see some of those without outside eyes looking at us. Your mentor will help you feel safe in your growth and struggles. They allow you be vulnerable, so you can grow.
2. Your mentor can see your strengths, even when you can’t.
We all have ideas of what our strengths are, but a mentor can make a true unbiased assessment of what those are. The best part is that they can give you actionable ideas on how to enhance those strengths to eventually grow and become more successful in your work, without changing who you are. Growth is something most people strive for throughout the course of their career. With personal growth comes career growth.
When I realized that I had strengths that I wasn’t aware of and I started to implement some small changes to exploit those strengths, I saw great returns in my career.
3. They will help you stay humble in the right areas.
It’s important to find a mentor that you want to mirror your personal and career growth on. When we read about great leaders and inspiring people, we hear how they are so “down-to-earth” and “personable.” A great mentor is humble, and they understand that they can learn from every person they interact with. The leaders that we strive to emulate are not necessarily quiet and shy, but they listen. You feel important when interacting with them.
I have never been an “arrogant” type of person. I was the person that was so humble, I didn’t want to interact with people. My mentor helped me to see that I can be humble and still be great at what I do. Success is not a bad thing. We should all be striving to be more successful while also maintaining a humble mindset.
So, this is where I want to take a moment to thank all of the great mentors I’ve had throughout my career for helping me grow. I hope that someday I can impact at least one person as much as you have impacted me over the years.