Commonly, mentoring is only seen as some form of teaching where an expert shares knowledge to a learner. However, mentoring is more than a professional activity. It involves learning from experience, setting the right example, and empowerment.
The power to mentor is the power to rule. The origins of mentoring can be traced back to ancient Greece as a technique to impart to young men important social, spiritual, and personal values. During those times, the product of mentoring formed a lasting mark in our history. It was in ancient Greece where Socrates, who is admired for his irony in undermining conventional ideas mentored Plato. Plato, in turn who is famous for creating the notion that ideas ruled the world mentored Aristotle. And Aristotle, who is best remembered for setting the basis to logic as a method mentored Alexander the Great who was a great leader who was never defeated in battle and ruled half the world with his armies. Today, their legacy lives.
The impact of mentoring was not only felt during ancient times, it is also evident in the rich and successful of today. Successful people have mentors to give them new perspectives and enable them to learn from the experience of others.
Here are some of them. Jim Rohn, considered to be America’s foremost business philosopher mentored Tony Robbins who has influenced millions and many teachers of today. Warren Buffet the 3rd richest man in the world mentored Bill Gates- the 2nd richest man. Bill Gates in turn, had an influence on the success of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of facebook.
So what is this sorcery that mentors have? What makes them enable people to reach their full potential, their best, and their dreams? How do they haul out the deep seeded skills and talents and bring out the best in people?
Their secret is conveniently abbreviated in the 3 E’s: Experience, Example, and Empowerment. In other words, they have the Experience, they set Examples, and they Empower people.
Their first secret is experience. They say, “experience is the best teacher”. Much of what we know and understand has been learned through experience. Whether it was time spent in solving a problem or experiences with different people, much of what we learn is achieved through doing, interaction and making mistakes. Experience teaches more effectively than books or school.
Experience is what mentors have. They have gone through the course of the ups and downs of life. The pitfalls and the mistakes they made can serve as a guide for people to learn from, so that they won’t commit those mistakes themselves. This also goes to say that their mistakes are our best teacher. Learning from mentors’ experiences is like a shortcut to reaching success.
Aside from experience, mentors also provide the right pattern for us to follow. Whether it be in finance, in relationships or in reaching goals, the mentors have been there- done that so they know how things should be done.
According to Brian Tracy, one of the most listened to speakers on personal and business success in the world today, the secret to success is no longer a secret. It is out there waiting for people to seize it! It can be found in the successful people themselves. It is in their habits, their patterns, their attitudes. Mentors provide people with a model of the right habits and patterns.
Successful people such as mentors usually have similar traits, patterns of thinking and doing things. All we have to do is to follow that pattern and we will also be on the right track for sure. Often times, this happens naturally if we surround ourselves with mentors. Just like when we naturally pick up traits from our parents when we are young, we naturally pick up traits from our mentors also.
Mentoring is empowering an individual. It is not just passing on the Mentor’s knowledge or philosophy to the Mentee but allowing the latter to be curious, and out of curiosity, to discover, and to develop his brand of Ideas or Philosophy that could benefit the world.
One aim of mentoring is to help individuals determine their goals in life which will provide a definite course in achieving them. The road to reaching their dreams and success begins with a goal in mind. A set of goals will make people have a sense of direction. They will know where to go and what to do. They will be motivated, productive and they will perform to the best of their abilities.
Mentoring programs can also increase one’s self-confidence, help learn to take better control of career, train to speak up and be heard, improve interpersonal relationship skills and encourage personal and professional development. Ultimately, all of this will lead to productive and empowered people capable of contributing to all sectors of society.