When one mentions the concept of mentoring, immediately most people think about the benefits of this for young people or new college grads. However, there are many rewards in being a mentor as well, acting as an influencer of ideas and values – and getting interested in what other people are doing. In fact, as a mentor you have the ability to have a direct effect on the success or failure of others, merely by taking the time to support their efforts to learn.
Dale Carnegie stated in How to Win Friends & Influence People, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Consider what would happen if you took the time to show some interest in the work being done by a colleague, or someone within your own network. For one, you would have a new friend, and a loyal one at that. Second, you would have the opportunity to objectively help the person of interest see the bigger picture in terms of his or her career. Lastly, you would gain personal reward by knowing you could transfer knowledge to aid someone else in building their success.
As a mentor, you are in the ideal spot for influencing others to see things as you see them. To view the world and your industry from your vantage point. And to develop the minds of the next generation of leaders. Imagine how powerful a legacy that could be helping others to rise to the top in their fields of interest as you provide the building blocks to help them achieve more, faster.
While it can take some time to locate the best opportunities to become someone’s mentor, very often the casual connections you have can provide sources. Consider the time you spend on social network sites, in team meetings at the office, and in community business associations. Chances are high that these places are ripe with those who need to be influenced by your ideals.
So, be a leader by building upon these connections and mentoring to others as often as possible. By mentoring, you are influencing the greater success of your predecessors and passing your information on to future generations so they too can succeed.