I search for nuggets high and low but this one is a gem. Most articles examining mentor-mentee relationships tell the story from the mentor’s perspective. It is rare to find a nuggetworthy conversation concerning what the mentee should bring to the relationship.
The other day, I was listening to the Harvard Business Review podcast “Managing Up and Across With Your Mentor.” Finally, someone was having a meaty conversation about what the mentee should be doing in the relationship. For instance:
“Well, one of the first things we have to deal with on the topic of mentors is it’s not just one mentor. And the individuals that are most successful in tapping mentors, or in a sense, creating their own personal board of directors. So they’re very deliberately saying what are the skills gaps that I have?” [Meaning.. who can I find to fill those skill gaps?]
“So I am advocating a bit [to] start lurking your boss and your boss’s network. And it’s actually a good thing. It’s how you’re going to learn what’s important to your boss. Now that you know what your boss is interested in, you can be much more proactive in sharing content, articles, conferences, whatever that will help your boss reach their individual business goals.”
“So I think if you almost develop a strategic plan of what your boss is trying to accomplish. And then how can you be deliberate in making yourself the go-to person to meet your boss’s objective? And so that’s key.”
This podcast is well worth the 12 minutes and is something to share with your friends (or mentees) today!
Associate Professor of Marketing
Stillman School of Business
Seton Hall University