Leadership Lessons to Live By: How to Become Mentored

Leaders are grown by other leaders. Good leaders learn from other good leaders. The way to be a better leader is to be a mentor. If you are called to be a leader, you have not been called to go it alone. It is essential to seek out a mentor who will help cultivate you as you fulfill God’s calling upon your life. Part of being a leader is learning how to become mentored.

Be humble.

Humility is the key ingredient to a successful mentoring relationship. There may be things you disagree with or downright dislike about a potential mentor. Maybe you think he or she really blew it in some area. Maybe they hold some position that you think is harmful or destructive. But maybe you can still learn from them. Be willing to be humble, to hold your strong feelings in check while you seek to learn what you can.

Be bold.

It can be a little bit intimidating to request mentorship. After all, sometimes the mentors you most want are the men and women who are in the positions of most responsibility or authority. Nonetheless, many of these leaders realize that mentoring the next generation of leaders one such responsibility that they cannot neglect. You may be rebuffed by some, but you may be befriended by others. Be bold, and simply ask.

Actively seek mentors.

You’ll have to be proactive in seeking mentoring. Most of the time, seasoned leaders won’t be coming after you asking to “mentor” you. It’s up to you, as a leader-learner to find mentoring. Mentoring doesn’t just happen to you. Of course, sometimes, a great leader spots an aspiring young protege, and takes him under his wing. Most of the time, however, you’ll have to find your own mentor. If you want to be mentored, don’t wait for the pick. Start seeking.

Seek multiple mentors.

A single mentor won’t teach you everything you need to know about life and leadership. Good mentoring comes from multiple sources of instruction. For example, you may wish to become mentored by a man whose love and dedication for his family are exemplary and worth of emulation. At the same time, you may wish to develop a mentoring relationship with a pastor whose preaching ability and expository prowess are something you respect. Both of these mentors are able to provide mentorship in each of those respective areas.

Don’t expect a formal mentoring time.

For all the use of the word “mentoring” in this article, you probably won’t have formal mentoring times. Mentoring is not a class. It is a relationship. You probably won’t be scheduling “Mentoring Meeting, 4pm” into your calendar each week. Instead, you’ll be catching up with your mentor as you meet him after the Sunday morning worship service. You’ll have breakfast together before work some weekday. You’ll chat on the phone. Mentorship is friendship.

Know what questions to ask.

There may be the temptation to prove to a mentor everything you know, and to show him or her what a great leader you’re becoming. Instead of this approach, focus on asking questions. Develop a relationship in which you want to learn all you can. As you go throughout your responsibilities, jot down questions you have about life and ministry. The next time you’re able, put these questions to your mentor. The better questions you ask, the more you’ll learn.

If you can’t find mentors, look harder. And read.

There are some situations in which it’s very hard to find mentors. Again, don’t expect perfection from a mentor. You can learn from anyone. Besides, there are always books and blogs that dispense plenty of lessons on leadership. Be intentional about seeking mentoring, even if you can’t find a specific person who is able to mentor you.

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

Be the first to start the conversation!

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image

Connect with Facebook