(Part 3 of the Series)
In Part 1 of this series last week we looked at what a mentor is and does. In Part 2 we looked at ways to find a mentor. In this article, we will review some of the factors involved in becoming a mentor.
The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Lew Platt, believes in the value of mentoring, In a letter addressing HP’s K-12 program, Platt sees "educating our children as both a business and a social imperative. After all, the young faces we see today are the faces of the workforce and customers of tomorrow." He recommends getting personally involved – "Speak to a class. Be a mentor for a student or teacher, either in person or by e-mail."
The State of California’s Resources Agency also has a mentor program that outlines the Qualifications of a Mentor, What Mentors Do, and What Makes You a Mentor that are all worth reading.
Mentors are common in educational settings. This University of Oregon site provides guidance in selecting a mentor as well as outlining the role and duties of the mentor.
So what does it take to be a business mentor? It takes the same level of interest, commitment, and confidence in your own abilities that it takes to mentor a student. It also requires that you be sincerely interested in someone else’s growth. You won’t win any awards, but you will have the satisfaction of having done an important job.
Who becomes a mentor? Why do they do it? The answers are as varied as the people involved. Some of us were lucky enough to have had a mentor and want to repay that. Others just want to help out, be a positive influence, or give something to their community.
What ever your reason for being a mentor, you will find it a special experience. Nothing can quite match the self satisfaction you get from sharing your experience to help others.
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