Beyond Traditional Mentoring – The Next Steps was inspired while I was reading the article, “Beyond Mentoring: The Need for Champions” by Ida Abbott, which is in the November 2012 issue of the Mentor News newsletter. Abbott’s article is written for those in the legal profession, but it is relevant for any professional. What struck me is that the writer is saying some of the things that I have been saying on this blog.
In Beyond Mentoring: The Need for Champions which I recommend that you read, Abbott emphasizes the need for having people who champion you in the workplace. Although having mentors, sponsors and champions are critical components of success because they support you, and oftentimes open doors for you to secure promotions, there is much that individuals can do for themselves instead of relying on others. In addition, invisible mentors play a major role in success as well, since there are many who have traveled the path you are now on who you can learn things from by observing how they have done what they have done.
Whether or not you have a traditional mentoring relationship, other mentors can and should play a role in your life. The days of having one mentor is not enough, since no one person can give you everything. Ideally these days, traditional mentorship complements the other forms of mentoring. We’ve talked about this here before on The Invisible Mentor Blog and I’d like to reiterate it once again by including links to some of the posts. The most important thing for you to do is to spend the time to discover what your mentoring needs are and start from there so that you can get the mentoring that’s right for you.
Once you have discovered what your mentorship needs are, seek ways to fill those needs – self-mentoring is also key as well. It may mean conducting information interviews with professionals who have accomplished what you are trying to accomplish. It may mean volunteering for difficult projects that no one wants, that would give you the visibility you need. But you have to make sure that you complete the projects exceptionally well and find ways to let the power brokers and influencers know about your success – you want them to notice you.
Beyond traditional mentors, the next step steps include forming your own personal board of directors (mentors), a mentoring group of your peers, having speed mentoring sessions with senior level executives within your firm and others in the industry, which is great for intelligence gathering. You want the inside scoop on how others attained professional success, and you want more than one example so that you can chart your own path based on what you have learned that’s relevant to you. The sky is the limit if you view mentoring broadly.
Below, I have included links to blog posts that will refresh your memory to move beyond traditional mentoring and take the next steps. Some of the post will guide you so that you know what the next steps are to take.
Articles to Read
Beyond Mentoring: The Need for Champions by Ida Abbott
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