This month HarperCollins is publishing the new book I wrote with Claire Diaz-Ortiz, One Minute Mentoring. Claire and I hope our book inspires a lot of people to get involved in mentoring, because we firmly believe mentoring relationships can change your life.
Behind every successful person, you’ll find a mentor—usually several—who guided their journey. There are many famous mentor/mentee examples—Socrates and Plato, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey—the list goes on and on.
One of the surprise benefits of mentoring is that in many ways it benefits the mentor as much as the mentee.
If mentoring is so effective, why aren’t more people involved in mentoring relationships?
One of the biggest barriers people worry about is time. It’s true that a mentoring relationship will take a little time, but a few hours a month is not going to do you in, especially when you realize how energizing and inspiring those few hours will be. And often the best advice you’ll ever give or receive can be communicated in less than a minute. That’s why Claire and I call our book One Minute Mentoring.
So how do you find a mentor?
There’s an old saying that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. Mentors are all around once you start looking for them. You might find a mentor in a boss, teacher, neighbor, friend, or colleague. Or you might find one through a professional association, volunteer organization, or online mentoring organization.
That old saying works both ways—when you’re ready to become a teacher/mentor, the student/mentee appears. We encourage people to step up and become mentors, because you won’t fully discover, appreciate, or leverage what you have until you start giving it away.
It takes time and intention to learn to drive—but once you know how, you can really go places! The same is true with mentoring. We all have 168 hours each week. Investing a few of those hours in mentoring will energize you in a way that web surfing and TV watching never will.