Mentor the person, not their career

Mentor the person, not their career

Aspiring leaders need more and better mentoring than 'they're getting today. Mentoring also needs to extend beyond a current career to be more effective in helping people fulfill their true full potential.

Mentoring the whole person takes more effort, time, and thought. Here are some practices for doing it well:

Share your stories. Start with understanding people's personal story and share yours. This shows that you're genuinely interested in understanding the mentee and his or her journey, not just in dispensing professional advice. It also gives you knowledge of the 'person's past, which enables you to make more probing inquiries over time.

Start with the end in mind. Perhaps the most critical question you can ask a mentee is:  How do you personally define long-term success?

Teach them how to fish. Ask a series of questions that enables people to identify issues and come up with a course of action on their own.

Of all the ways you can spend your time, mentoring has one of the highest returns on investment. It enables you to take everything you have learned and "pay it forward," shaping the next generation of leaders.

Inspired by: Harvard Business Review - Great Mentors Focus on the Whole Person, Not Just Their Career, by Rick Woolworth