The power of mentoring

I quite often hear people talking about the power of mentoring and how it has positively affected their careers. It’s at these times that I am reminded just how influential mentoring can be.

Having been in HR and business development myself, for over thirty years, it has been my privilege to have mentored some truly brilliant people. Many of who have gone on to achieving the most incredible successes in their careers and lives.

On the other side of the coin, it has also been my great fortune to have been mentored by some incredible mentors who’s insights and knowledge, have at times brought me to the point of tears in realisation there were answers to some of the greatest challenges I faced in business.

For me, knowing them has been the real highlight of my career and the satisfaction I have gained from that relationship has enabled me to constantly push the boundaries forward, learn more, discover more, try more and share more.

Mentoring isn’t just for the juniors in a business. In fact it is usually quite the opposite. You usually find that behind every successful person there are good mentors. Former Apple Inc. CEO the late Steve Jobs served as a mentor to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The two developed a relationship in the early days of Facebook and often met to discuss the best business and management practices for the company. When Jobs passed away in the Autumn of 2011, Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook page, “Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.”

Virgin Group co-founder Richard Branson has personally benefitted from a mentor-mentee relationship. Branson asked British airline entrepreneur Sir Freddie Laker for guidance during his struggle to get multinational conglomerate Virgin Atlantic off the ground. “It’s always good to have a helping hand at the start. I wouldn’t have got anywhere in the airline industry without the mentorship of Sir Freddie Laker,” Branson has been quoted as saying.

The advice; is to find yourself a good mentor and then pass the torch on when you feel you are ready by mentoring others.