Mentoring is such a powerful tool, but I think there is some confusion about how it can easily be utilized in someone’s career. So today, I want to dive in so you can discover the transformative benefits of mentoring, walk away with strategies you can use right away, and find the mentor that can help you achieve your next level in leadership or life!


Why is it good for you to have a mentor?

As an emerging leader, you want to consider mentoring in your career because it accelerates your personal and professional growth. With a mentor, you achieve your goals faster because you have the benefit of knowing your mentors’ successes and setbacks and the strategies they used to navigate their own careers.


The definition of mentoring

So what exactly is mentoring? Mentoring is when an experienced and trusted advisor shares their experiences with someone who is less so. That’s it. It doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or even traditional looking.

For me, stepping into the role of project manager at a sustainable working ranch in my corporate career was a shock. I, a city girl with no ranching experience, felt overwhelmed and out of place. Doubts filled my mind as I wondered if I could handle the job. However, the turning point came when I met John, the 6’5″ Texan livestock manager, who became my unexpected mentor. With his guidance, I learned the ropes of ranch life, from caring for the animals to leaving the land better than I found it. John’s invaluable mentorship transformed my panic into confidence, proving that seeking guidance from those with experience is critical to conquering new challenges and thriving outside our comfort zones.


What makes a good mentor for you?

Well, that depends on you. It depends on what exactly you are looking to get from the relationship. Are you looking for overall career guidance? Do you have a specific promotion you want to achieve? Are you looking to uplevel your skills? Get a certification? Having Clarity about the direction you want to take in the mentoring relationship is always the first step for you. Now you can consider the skills and experience of someone you’ll want as a mentor.

Also, consider that mentoring is a relationship, just like any other one, and personality and compatibility are factors. But generally, you’ll want to find someone who is a good communicator who can be supportive and empathetic to your goals and progress.


Now that you’ve found a mentor, how do you do it?

  1. Get to know each other. Learn each other’s histories, strengths, and communication styles. Assessments can be a great way to do this effectively. I recommend the Predictive Index Assessment as it focuses on how you are hard-wired for work and is a great tool to kick off your relationship with your mentor.
  2. Create some structure. How frequently will you or can you meet? What are the meeting preferences, like in person, virtual, or a combination? The structure of a mentoring relationship tends to be flexible and adaptable, as it depends on the needs and preferences of both the mentor and mentee. The ultimate goal is to foster a nurturing and empowering environment that enables the mentee to thrive and achieve their full potential.
  3. Set the goals/outcomes for your time together. Make sure you are as clear as possible about what you are trying to accomplish. This Clarity will save wasted time on either side and allow you to have a more productive relationship. I suggest SMART goals because they cause you to think more thoroughly about what it will take to achieve your outcome.
  4. Hold effective mentoring meetings. I suggest starting with a quick catch-up on both sides, then moving into an outcome for this particular meeting. As the mentee, you might even want to record the meeting if you are holding it virtually or with an AI transcription app like or Noota if you’re in person. This allows you to get good notes of what transpired and any action items from the meeting. Ask permission before recording. At the very least, write your thoughts out immediately after the meeting so you’re clear about anything that needs to happen before your next meeting.
  5. Closure and a Continuing Relationship. Eventually, the mentoring relationship may come to a formal close, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the connection. Many mentoring relationships evolve into lasting professional connections or friendships, where mentees may become mentors themselves, continuing the cycle of support and growth.


If you’re an aspiring leader, I encourage you to seek mentoring opportunities actively. Whether within your organization, professional networks, or through mentoring programs, embrace the chance to connect with experienced mentors who can help navigate the path to greatness. Likewise, if you’ve attained success and wisdom in your career, consider becoming a mentor yourself and giving back to the next generation of leaders. Remember, the impact of mentoring goes beyond individual achievements; it creates a ripple effect of growth and inspiration that enriches the entire community.