Different types of mentors
Recently the latest craze is mentors, now i'm not saying they aren't important but in my process of trying to find a mentor i've come to a few realisations. My whole life my parents have told me to listen to them, my other family members and teachers to learn what they've learnt through life. I'm sure you can relate and you can think of at least one persons advice you value tremendously. Unfortunately, theres been a shift due to the increasing availability fo technology. When we need something we resort to a quick google search, it isn't an issue but we just need to remember that the results of a google search is "information" and information is not knowledge nor wisdom. This may result in us gaining information but sacrificing the all important knowledge and wisdom. The best way to gain this is however is by listening to others and learning from their stockpile of real world experiences.
We are all so heavily connected with many people around us, so how do we decide who to listen to?
One thing that many of us fail to realise is that everyday we are presented with countless opportunities to learn something from someone else. If we place value in everyone we meet and approach each connection with the presumption that they have value to add to us then you will be more likely to find the value they present.
This sort of goes against the traditional idea of a mentor doesn't it? The one person we go to for motivation, wisdom and advice, why have one mentor if we can get these qualities from almost everyone?
Like I said mentors are not only important, they are essential to our personal and professional growth. We can't expect to have only one mentor that will change our lives, instead different mentors at different stages of our lives each that give different types of value to us.
From my research and experience i've realised that there are so many different categories of mentors and i've tried my best to put them into the categories below.
If you can think of one mentor that has especially impacted your life or career, tell me about them in the comments as I would really like to know about them.
Traditional Mentor: The most sought after, the typical sense of the word mentor. A senior in business that we look up to for advice on the road to success.
Motivational Mentor: Someone who may have no link to the business sector we are in, but instead someone who keeps our head up and assures us that no matter what it will always be alright.
Muse: Someone we look up to but don't really have a connection with, they tend to be very high up in their own field and provide us a vision for success..
Fleeting Mentor: A mentor that enters our life for a brief time and completely changes our way of thinking and outlook. This can be through a positive or even a negative experience.
Topic Mentor: A mentor that has built our trust in a specific area of business or life, we tend to go to them for advice on one particular topic.
Peer Mentor: Someone who is in the same space as us and at the same point of their journey as us. You help each other and learn from each others mistakes and successes.
Anti-Mentor: Someone who exhibits traits and habits we don’t want to follow. The opposite of who we want to be. They show us what not to do.
Reverse Mentor: Someone that you mentor .ut in the course of things ends up teaching you.
Networking Mentor : Someone who may or may not be a mentor themselves, but introduces us to the right people to provide us the knowledge and connections to help get us where we need to go.
The most important things to note is that mentors won’t come looking for you; it's important that you reach out to them and seek out the information you need. Ask for it, the worst answer you can get is no. You need to be able to differentiate between advice you should keep on and advice you don't need to take. We need to take mentors on with a pinch of salt as i'm sure you've heard the saying "too many cooks in the kitchen"; too much advice from different people will slow you down rather than help. Nobody is going to be hand you anything, you have to bring something to the table pay your dues and grind from the bottom. Speaking to some mentors, they've told me the most important part is using a bit of common sense and using your initiative with tasks they give you.
So to conclude...
Everyone has value. The notion that we should only learn from the highly successful will not provide you with any long term benefit, you need to open up to the reality that everyone has a value. The key component of a successful person is the ability to see this value and this is the key to continual growth.